On the BBC documentary, The Duke at 90, the Duke of Edinburgh recounted what he told Prince Charles when it came to dealing with the press:
“Don’t talk about yourself; Nobody’s interested in you.”
I love this because it’s indictative of the times we live in. We blog, we tweet, we live more public lives now than ever before, where all we do is talk about ourselves. This is no bad thing if people find us interesting. But it also gives rise to the ‘real me’s’. Those who live public lives and then publicly hint at even more of themselves to be had which you don’t know about. It’s the bit they keep back; reserving that special part for an exclusive handful.
I have issues with real me’s.
Only a chosen few get to see the REAL me; If they knew the REAL me then they’d love me; It’s my time now to show the REAL me *audible gasps*
You are not a new designer label about to be launched on the market. You are not a new generation iPhone. People will not be queuing round the block to get a piece of you upon your revelation.
It’s totally bizarre in a society where we are obsessed with being real & genuine, that we on the one hand proclaim absolutely transparency and ‘what you are is what you get’ only to turn around and declare – that wasn’t me at all! That was a shell, a disguise, a mere taster for the exuberant wonder that is actually, drum roll please, the REAL ME!
Pause to let the crowd sparkle in awe, cheer and applaud. I think I just threw up in my own mouth.
Celebrities do it all the time. Their real me interviews come after a little dry spell and before you can say has-been they’ve had at least 4 different real selves revealed in the last month alone.
It’s dangerous territory. Before long you’ll have to tie a rope around your feet so you don’t fall up your own arse.
I once worked with a woman who hated the stress of her job. So much so, she was a miserable, snappy dragon who wasn’t very nice to be around. At the time, she said to me:
“This isn’t me you know; I’m not a miserable bitch. I’m fun loving and a good laugh, that’s the real me.”
And wouldn’t you know it, it was true. Getting past her work persona, she was infact a lovely, genuinely funny and caring person who has grown into a good friend. The people in our office however only ever saw the dragon. So which IS the real her?
If the people from work only ever saw the dragon, then she is the dragon. I however see the caring friend, so she is exactly that.
Because there is no ‘real you’ at all. We are what we put out to the world. If we act like an arsehole, then we are an arsehole. If we are lovely and kind, then we’re that too. It is all us and it is all real. We like to think we are human paradigms- but we overcomplicate it with what we think are so many versions of ourselves that we forget who we’re meant to be, with whom and when.
It’s so limiting. We are, at the base of it, governed by love, hope, desire and fear. How we put those together is up to us. It’s our personalitiy that is our true constant.
We hate pretenders. The disingenuous ones we can smell a mile off with their fake smiles and questionable stories. But in truth they’re just not as good at it as the rest of us. We hate them because they openly mock what we are constantly trying to perfect. Its the cracked facade. It’s embarrassing.
It drives people nuts.
Another big clanger for the real me’s is the need to change and reinvent ourselves. People get bored of the same old same old; they like to see growth and development. We are always wanting to improve ourselves, and therefore our REAL self must change too.
So the real you today may not be the real you tomorrow. Bugger. Makes the huge unveiling a bit redundant now doesn’t it? You just become a right nobber having to make a big announcement every time you learn a new lesson.
It’s the same as ‘holding back’ parts of you. We all naturally hold back certain parts of ourselves; there are certain experiences & embarrassing bits we wouldn’t want to air to all and sundry. That’s not the ‘real you’; that’s just social streamlining. Too many you’s and people will get suspicious and won’t trust the real you anyway.
If you throw away the ‘real you’ perception you’ll only ever have more fun without being bound to monitoring the many versions of yourself you think you are at that time. It’s a given that we are always changing, and life will undoubtedly change us too. Our personalities make us who we are. They’re contrary and fickle; stubborn and adaptable. Look outside for fuck’s sake. There’s a whole life to live out there.
And don’t talk about yourself; nobody’s interested in you.