23 November 2008
Really knowing someone.
Alone now, and thinking: how well can I know someone? And how well would I want to know them?
I try to be very careful with what I reveal to others. I can be pretty candid on this blog, but in many cases, names, locations, even dates are changed. I don't want to be easily tracked. Things I don't want to be connected to at all simply aren't listed here, or anywhere else in writing. I've been known to lie on occasion to cover an undesirable truth.
I know I'm not the only one. Mark Twain said, "Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody", and I fully believe that. We all have secret lives, secret pasts, secrets loves and desires, secret hatreds, secret vices, secret talents. No one knows me fully, not one. I prefer it that way. And some have told me that to keep myself so compartmentalised robs me of my vitality but I find I encounter far less drama that way. I don't really believe in unconditional love under most circumstances; humans are simply not perfect and judge on bias, fear or envy.
It took a long time for me to understand how to gauge what parts of me were safe to show to others, and even longer for me to know which parts were safe for which types of people. And I know it makes sense to most everyone: we all have our home selves, our work and school selves, things of that nature. And of course we might censor ourselves around kids, or our parents or supervisors. We learn those things, mostly, as we grow up and realise the consequences for letting out the wrong part at the wrong time.
Nonetheless, sometimes I get to thinking about my own dark side, and what secrets I hold. I don't feel alone in sharing it with no one, because I know everyone is hiding aspects of themselves from me as well. But when I do think on what I hide--consciously and subconsciously--I can't help but to think about others, as well. I don't usually ask probing questions because I feel if I respect the privacy of others, they'll respect mine...however, I'm still curious. It's natural to be.
And then I think that perhaps it's best I don't know. Secrets are private for a reason. I only have to think about something deep inside me that might accidentally tumble out, and I can envision the responses, the aftermath...not good. So I can understand, of course. Everyone's in that exact same position. It's strange to me in a way, that we all have these aspects about us that are so guarded, and part of me thinks that if we all came out with it and lived honestly we'd be in a better place. But then rationality kicks in and honestly, we're all judgmental at some level, no one is 100% tolerant (or even close to it) so it'd never work.
We're all resigned to our hidden selves. I guess it doesn't matter really, because I'm not the only one hiding things. But the entire situation gets me in a pensive mood at times.