09 November 2007


I wish I could look this adorable when I'm wearing my glasses. I read the sartorialist every day (where I got this picture). I've always secretly hoped that someday he might stop me and ask to take my picture! although I'd probably end up being so nervous that the picture would turn out horrible!

He wrote once about this girl that he photographed twice - but at completely different times - and didn't even realize it was the same girl until she had told him he had before because she seemed so different. She told him that when he first photographed her, she had just moved to Manhattan and didn't know anybody. I wish I had the time to find this particular entry of his right now but I have to wake up at 5am for work... Basically what he said really struck a chord with me and has had me thinking about it ever since. He pointed out that this girl changed so much since he first saw her and he could tell not only by how she was dressed, but by the way she carried herself. He said she had an air of confidence that she didn't have before. Like she finally knew who she was. Then he pointed out that maybe she had always known who she was, but that people (our families, friends, etc.) always think they know who you are better than you do. Or they think they know who you are, and because they do, you feel like you have to stay in this mold of the person they think they know. But if you get away from all of that, you might finally be able to become the person you really are - because they won't be there to judge you and say, "No, that's not you! You're not like this, you're like that!"

I've really been wondering lately... is that the case with me? I honestly believe sometimes that the people around me and closest to me don't know who I really am. I have this true self inside me that I'm afraid to be because everyone I know will tell me that's not who I really am, because they aren't familiar with that person. There were times in my relationship with my ex (who I swore knew me better than anybody I'd ever known) when I would look at him and wonder, "Do you even know who I am?". Maybe he didn't.

I've had this yearning to move away from here where nobody knows me, or at least don't know me well enough to point out the difference. I've been floating for the past 5 years and can't make up my mind about anything. I don't know what I want to be, or what I want to do with my life - and I know I've never actually done anything that I've really wanted to do. I find myself always struggling to figure out what I'm actually good at. People have told me my whole life what I'm good at - but what do I think I'm good at? I don't know! I can't decide. I can't place a finger on anything that I feel particularly confident in. I set goals but I never make them and then I always have an excuse for why I didn't reach them. Maybe that's because I've never been left to figure out what I want on my own.

So, I wonder... if I left, if I started all over again somewhere else - would I become me? And if I could finally become me, would I finally be able to decide what I want? Would I figure out what I'm good at and be able to stick with it? Would I be able to set goals and accomplish them? Would I develop this confidence and comfort with myself like the girl in Manhattan?

Would finding myself really be what I was doing? Or would it just be running from a life and a world that I'm not particularly happy in?

If I were running away... would that be so bad?


  1. You know, I'm not exactly sure about what the sartorialist said. I think that he might be right, but for different reasons than he thinks.

    I think when we move somewhere where there isn't anyone we know, and maybe the culture is even somewhat different, that it's easy to feel a little lost. A lot of the way that we define ourselves is by the people in our lives and the things that we're used to. So you move to a place, and all of a sudden... well, everyone acts differently when you do certain things. They respond different ways. And it's a struggle to still be *you*, the you that you were before, in a new place.

    Some people try to be their old selves, and they'll eventually have to give up and go home. Some people try to be brand new people, which will leave you unhappy and dissatisfied.

    It's tough to do what you ultimately need to: find the pieces of you that are distinct regardless of where you're placed. And it's meaningful when you figure out what they are.

    But, I don't think that this makes you more of who you *really* are (whatever that means). I think it just gives you a new space to see yourself in a different way. I think you do learn about yourself, but whether that evokes change for the better is up to you.

    Sorry--I haven't had any contact with you in a long time, I'm just an old LJ friend. But I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

    As far as running away goes... I don't think it's a bad thing. I think it *can* be. You just have to make sure that when you're running away, that you're running towards things you love, and not just into the nameless dark.

    In any case, I pray that you find what you're looking for. Or even just what you need to find, whether you're looking for it or not.

  2. I've read your things for a while (on livejournal) and followed you here. I just want to say I feel the same way you feel. I'm always dad's perfect kid, mom's perfect screw-up, my grandpop's little actress. It's so hard to really be myself because they always assume I'm something else, or I'm not being completely forthcoming with things. I'd love to just run away and really find out who I am. Maybe I am all those things, but just have a rebellion against it.

    I'm Jasmine, by the way.

  3. I think you're right in that family and friends try to mold you into this character that they've always known, never leaving room for growth and change. I believe very, very strongly that it is not the people you surround yourself with that shape who you are, but the environment, the city, your influences.

    I have been feeling the same when I was back home, but I finally got the courage to just get up and leave everything without saying goodbye. My family, my friends, my work, the city, my whole life. It was all gone, and I started from scratch again down here.

    It was the hardest but most amazing experience I have ever had. I'm still learning and I'm still building, but I have a better idea of who I am from the last 4 months here than I have in my 18 years at home.

    Sometimes it's good to change it up. And the best part is you will finally realize what you love when you leave. Even if moving to a new city doesn't work out, you will understand what you miss from home.. and maybe everything you needed has been right under your nose the whole time! Regardless, its one of the best experiences someone can ever have. Good luck Aly, I know you'll do great things.

    (this is Josie btw from rose hill)

  4. I feel like I wrote this entry. Everything you said has been what I've been feeling for years. I don't know who I am, where I belong, and where I'll end up.

    I think the only way for me to find this out is to move out of my comfort zone. Move to a new city where I don't know anyone. Start fresh and new. Find myself or just... start being myself.