Unexamined assumptions are powerful. Like when you see a radio personality for the first time and you’re all THAT IS NOT WHAT MATT GALLOWAY LOOKS LIKE* because without realizing it you formed a very strong idea of what Matt Galloway looks like just from listening to his voice…where was I? Oh yeah. Unexamined assumptions. Very powerful.
Your idea of what a thing is, what it looks like – your Platonic essence of a state of being – is not usually something you come up with consciously. I seem to have very strong ideas about what it means to be a singer, a writer, a SAHM; what success and happiness are; and somehow or other I’ve constructed these templates in such a way that they exclude me.
Yes. I have conversations with myself where I add caveats and qualifications to my identities until I’ve talked myself out of being, well, anything. Does everybody do this, or is this just me? I am not a real singer because [x], x being “some bullshit that is not really relevant”. Never mind that all that singer means is “a person who sings”. I sing! I even get paid for it every now and then, though not as much as I’d like. Similarly, a writer is…a person who writes. I write! Not as much as I’d like and never for pay, but I’ve written a bunch of opera libretti, a fair stack of poems, and enough blog posts to choke a horse. Why doesn’t that count? I spend the vast majority of my time looking after my baby; does this not make me a SAHM (if that’s a label I want to use for myself – not sure about that yet)?
So tell me, internet, what buggy bit of code in my brain that stops me from believing in myself?
*Matt Galloway, for you non-Torontonians, hosts the CBC morning drive-time show and looks like Kermit the Frog. He SOUNDS kind of like Zach Braff. You see my confusion here.