I feel like I spend a lot of time wondering if people understand me, if they know me. But to (mis)quote Bret Easton Ellis in The Rules of Attraction, “no one will ever know anyone.” And he’s right you know. It’s sad but true.
Can you honestly say you have someone that knows everything about you? That petty, mean spirited thought you had on the train when someone unwittingly shoved their backpack in your face? That unwholesome fantasy you still secretly harbour for your 11th grade biology teacher? The full extent of your teenage exploits and on into the terrible drug-fucked (but unregrettable) wasteland of your early twenties. Ok, maybe these things are very specific to me but my point is that, unless you’re having some serious in depth and near constant conversations, no one could possibly know everything about you.
And then of course there’s the self-censorship. We aren’t usually very keen on sharing our less savoury thoughts with others. Who wants anyone to know they once kicked their childhood dog? Not me but, fuck it, I just told you anyway to illustrate my point. And, yes, maybe requiring someone know all these things is an extreme way of determining if someone knows you but think about it for a second. Do they really know you or do they know what you want them to know? Do they only know the parts of yourself you’re willing to share, that you’re willing to have known?
I’ll have been with Jared for ten years come 10 April and there are many, many things that only I know about myself. Yes, that’s partially because I’m a secretive, private person but also because, even after ten years, there are some things I’m not comfortable sharing. There are things I’d rather keep locked away, dusty and unthought of in the bottom of my mental safe deposit box. Maybe these things would help him ‘know’ me better and maybe not but regardless they’re things I’ve chosen to keep to myself.
Sometimes I think about this and I throw my mental hands in the air and say who gives a shit? What does it matter if anyone knows me. I know me. Surely that’s enough? But then there are other times, times when I think it’s an incredibly lonely thing to not have anyone know you or to not feel comfortable or willing or safe enough to divulge your true self. That I believe I need an ambassador to go out there and represent me to others while the real me sits in squalor at home, unwashed and perverse. It’s a dreary picture I know but what can I say? This is what the real me thinks about. Now you probably have a better idea why I need that ambassador, huh?
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