Vector8 Journals

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Perceptions of Me Versus the Real Me

Have you ever wondered how others see you? Maybe people see the outer shell and draw conclusions from that shell. Maybe others get a glimpse into what you are like behind the shell, and it is that person they love. How do you see yourself?

As I am in a black body, I would imagine there are many who perceive me in a particular way, based on their perception of what it means to be black. I used to identify myself as black and took things so personally when my "black brothers and sisters" were racially abused. Then I moved out of that identity. I realised I was a lot more than a skin colour.

I also went through a phase of trying to understand myself as a woman. I felt I was treated differently because I was a woman and I wanted to understand why.I studied feminist ideas, joined women's groups and got outraged. Then I realised I was a lot more than a gender, so much more.

I've been told by many people that I either look like a student or a teacher. I remember meeting a man who was interested in going out with me. He said I looked like a teacher. What does a teacher look like? I am very curious because as a child I always knew I would be a writer, but I also had fantasies about becoming a teacher.

I spent hours and hours playing with my imaginary friends. My "friends" were my pupils and I was a primary school teacher. My pupils were as thick as two short planks. As they always got my questions wrong, they always got whacked. I was a strict disciplinarian, like my real life teachers who doled out corporal punishments at the drop of a hat. Just as well my invisible friends didn't have physical bodies.

So, when a few people have said I look like a teacher, I wonder whether I look like a stern, no-nonsense, type; or a kind, very accessible type. What difference does it make? It's only another mask of how others perceive me. It is not who I am.

I've been told by others that I could have been a model. I have been told I am very pretty in an exotic way, whatever that means, and I would make a good cat walk model. Again, that's another way of perceiving me. I personally think my physical body is very attractive, but then, so what? It is not who I am.

Others who I haven't met in person have drawn conclusions from my writings. While my writings are part of me, they are an infinitesimal part of who I am. I am a whole lot more.

One question I have asked myself is "what do I really look like?" I have had various bodies presented to me, no doubt, based on my belief at the time. I see myself as a body of light. I see myself as a diamond. I see myself as a purple amorphous mass. I see myself as an eight-pointed star. I see myself as White Light. The latest is that I am a symbol of Infinity. One thing I've never seen myself as is a humanoid form. I have imagined myself looking like a real babe, but in reality, it is not what my real identity is. Now that I know what I look like in reality, I can create my physical body to look however I want, as my physical attributes have nothing to do with who I am. My body is just an illusion.

How others see me depends on their beliefs and expectations which is meaningless. How I see myself is based on changing beliefs, which is also meaningless. But the real Me is not confined to a body in time and space. The real Me is unlimited. That sounds good to Me.

I Am What I Am,

For other writings see Vector8 writings