Wow. Those are some powerful words. And utter bullshit. That’s someone who’s got their head in the sand. The main interest in life is not to become someone else but to become a better version of yourself.
You have a foundation laid with specific skills and talents, likes and dislikes, aptitudes and attitudes. The better you know yourself, the better version of yourself you can become.
Take me, for example. I’ve always been a writer. It’s always come easily. No matter what form of writing I have done, I’ve received praise. I started out as a songwriter at a very young age. I won awards for poetry in my teens. I won competitions for short stories, again, in my teens. I became a journalist and received awards in that function as well.
I attempted writing novels, because my entourage felt I could. Should. It’s not in my blood. I could sit here and painstakingly finish a novel but it would bring me very little joy in the process.
I returned to school in my forties for Scriptwriting only to find that I do well in that department too. It comes a little easier and I get completely lost in my laptop when I’m writing a feature film. I learned this about myself because I continue to explore who I am. I do not try to hide in the folds of someone I am not. I am not creating a new person, only enhancing the one I am.
I am still my original form of a writer that I was when I wrote my first song at the age of eight but I am definitely a better version of that tiny human.
I have not become someone else, nor was it ever my intention. Perhaps Monsieur Foucault would have better served himself studying his own mind rather than those from the past.
This line of thought has contributed to the chaos and confusion of today’s minds. One should not try to avoid their own thoughts, feelings, needs in order to assimilate into a world of normalcy. I suppose it is possible that being a gay man in a century when it was frowned upon may have contributed to Monsieur Foucault’s way of thinking. Acceptance of each other is the key to a better future for all. Acceptance of oneself is where we begin.
We come into this world full of bliss and wonder. Curious to find the new and experience the magical moments. From an early age, we are transformed by family, friends, teachers and communities into something that fits all the norms. We are consistently reminded that our innermost desires are improper. Our adventurous spirits are chastised into submission and kept at bay.
Finally, the time comes when we are ready to spread our wings and we fall. We fail. Why? Because we no longer have a clear picture of who we are. We no longer know what we want. We know what the people around us want for us but we have spent years not listening to ourselves. Not knowing ourselves.
Many, like Monsieur Foucault, go through an entire lifetime in that mode. Many hit their forties and wonder, “Who am I really?” We call it a mid-life crisis and snicker when the guy with the receding hairline drives by with the top down on his new G6. Is it funny? Not at all. This is the culmination of decades of not knowing one’s self.
In short, to become the person you were meant to be and live to your full potential while experiencing and appreciating all that life has to offer you, specifically, takes explicit knowledge in who you are. To ignore that being inside you and live in conformity of the world that surrounds you is detrimental to your journey on earth. Be brave. Know yourself. Live your best life, not someone else’s. We can’t become someone else. We came here with our own design. Following your heart, your passion, your dreams is a sure-fire way to know yourself.