If I Cannot be Myself, Who Else Can I be?

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Don’t say “take care of yourself”, it’s nonsense…
I will surely take care of myself, don’t worry
In the end, we are all left alone
You take care of us, my Lord, your beloved servants

I don’t know whom your problem is with, but my problem has always been mostly with myself. In my opinion, “dredging up the self,” “teasing out the self,” “probing the self,” and various other activities concerning the “self” is a job on its own. For me, there are two types of people: those who “brush” themselves up and those who do not. Although it may seem like an enviable quality at first glance, this impulse is like a curse. People either have it or they don’t.

I do not know if my acceptance is habitual or due to age, but even though I accept now, I had a period when I deeply questioned why this impulse to “brush up the self” made me such a servant to myself. Why couldn’t I be normal? Why couldn’t I just accept myself like everyone else and live despite myself?

I have gone through many nights straining my mind so hard when I only wanted to sleep comfortably. I would try to give myself up to the reliable hands of sleep, telling myself, “I can stop thinking now; there will be plenty of time later.”

After a while, I transformed this into a game. Each topic that interested me became a means to brush myself up. Everything I accumulated and learned, as well as all the people I knew, made up the actors and scenery for my huge stage.

If you brush yourself up enough, at some point you have to ask yourself, “What does my ‘self’ look like?”

What do I look like? As you start saying this, another concept appears from the corner of your mind: “Am I really what I look like?”

The game of trying to find out what you look like is fun, especially when you are devoted to the principle of impartiality.

For a compass, you listen to your heart. That’s all.

I set many ships on fire
I set many ships on fire
I was hurt so much that 
In the end, I regarded myself from a distance
And in what I saw… I was further from myself than the stars were

The most complicated part is, “Am I really what I look like?” It is certainly not the same face you see in the mirror. It could be a little more flirtatious, more fond of comfort, a little plumpish, and a little more passionate… There it is!

All joking aside, I have rarely met anyone who is what they look like. Arrogance and ego are all around. We are caught up in identifications. Our occupational labels stick to us like gum on our shoes. We try to behave appropriately to our position and identification in the family. In an attempt to resemble definitions like, “Oh, he’s consistent” or “My girl is very trustworthy,” we cannot resemble ourselves. Maybe you want to lie today, but no, you are a trustworthy person. You are known to be so, so you have to behave that way. We remember this and forget about our sweet lie. Do not underestimate a lie. Little white lies are a privilege of being human. Don’t think I’m encouraging lying, but I wouldn’t criticize those who do it consciously and sparingly.

In summary, we often compromise ourselves to accommodate environmental and social factors. Since I’m not aiming to push everyone into a mad rebellion against their community, let’s balance it out with some other arguments.

The difficulty of being ourselves is expressed in the ancient Delphi Apollo Temple as “gnothi seauton,” which means, “Human, know thyself!”

Wishing to be a stone at the door of the temple is not enough. We need to stand and fight, to get to know ourselves in a way that leads to our self. We need to see ourselves not vaguely, but clearly and precisely, and if possible, to know what it looks like.
If you think you know, check it once more.

After all this, we may be able to show enough courage to be ourselves. We may stop trying to be the people known by society. Instead we can be the people we fell over, remolded, filled up, emptied, loved, battered, carried, left, gave hope, cursed, appreciated and looked down on for years. In short, we can take a confident step towards resembling the selves that we and only we called into being,

Is it hard? Which one is easier? To be someone else?

Would not the smart child inside us ask, “If I cannot be myself, who else can I be?” If he did, what would our answer be?



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