In some ways, I'm not so much into matching. An eclectic set of furniture, cobbled together from different sources and time periods can add a lovely sense of personality to a room. I'll wear navy socks with black pants if the difference is undetectable at normal sock-viewing distances (a fashion faux pas that would drive my husband into obsessive-compulsive overdrive).
But when it comes to insides and outsides, I want things to match. Food should look just as good as it tastes. A good book really should have a lovely cover. And I desperately want my outside to match my inside. I want my appearance and demeanor to say something significant about who I am. I believe that first impressions count, even if they're not the only impression that sticks.
Think about someone that you've known for years, someone that you're really close to. Now think back to the first time you met him or her. Is it the same person? When I do this, I feel like I'm seeing two completely different people. Of course, people change. And our perceptions also change over time. But it's impossible to accurately portray ourselves in all of our complexities and subtleties simply by appearance alone.
I don't know what kind of first impression I make. My problem is that I have a handful of "insides" fighting for dominance at any given time. Do I want to be outgoing and bubbly? Or filled with the type of quiet joy that infuses a room with warmth? Do I want to appear professional and poised? Or just quirky enough to have "street cred" as a writer?
Yes! To all of it. I'm all of these things. But my struggle is how to put together an "outside" that can adequately reflect this. I imagine that when my friends think back to meeting me, they remember a completely different person than who they know me to be now.
I rarely feel like my external appearance, the mask I present to the world, matches my internal being. I blame it on my clothes. I blame it on my weight. Sometimes, I blame it on my hair. Most of the time I try to forget the mask and just be me, whoever that is at the moment. Because anything else is just too exhausting.
What's your mask?
Labels: sunday scribblings