Thursday, February 7, 2013

An Author's "Second Self"

Me at 4 years of age
I was in my Creative Writing class the other day and my professor was discussing how authors take on a persona when they write, someone they want the world to see. Being the dreamer that I am, my mind wandered and I began to wonder, "Which persona is my author second self?"

I was raised in a family where I was the only girl. I had girl cousins on my dad's side of the family, but I didn't see them too often. I had a cousin on my mom's side who was 6 years older than me, but I mean, she was 6 years older than me. I idolized her, but again, I didn't see her often. I was left to be what everyone thought I should be. What was that you ask? Well, it was many things:
1. I was to act like a girl (ladylike, polite, soft-spoken)
2. I was to dress like a girl (dresses, skirts, fancy shoes, curled hair, make-up)
3. I was raised to be a mom and wife (I wasn't encouraged to dream outside the box)
4. Men only wanted to date girls with long fingernails, long hair, and skinny bodies

There are many more, but you get the idea, right?

For most of my life, I tried to live up to what people expected me to be. Last year, when I published my first book, I dreaded opening up to people. What if they didn't like me? What if I wasn't what they expected?

Then, Tuesday as I sat in class, occurred to me. All of you get to see the REAL me. You get to know the brassy, bitchy, bold side of me. You don't care that I spend the majority of my days behind a computer screen with my hair pulled up and pencils stuck in my hair. You don't care that I wear yoga  pants and holey sweatshirts around my house while I work. You don't care that I'm not a size 2 or that I don't wear make-up unless I go to school. You all get to know me as I truly am. It's the world outside these four walls and people who have known me for all these years who get the "persona".

How sad is it that I've spent 40 years of my life pretending to be someone I'm not? Lucky for me, my husband gets it. He's like all of you...he knows the real me.

Lucky for me, I found all of you :D 
How about you? Do you have a persona that you keep locked away and pull out only when a certain person is around?

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