“She was becoming herself and daily casting aside the fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.” ~Kate Chopin, The Awakening
There is danger in cloaking ourselves with a fictitious self, but this danger is not easily discerned, especially not by ourselves and not while we are comfortable with our disguise. The danger lies in the fact that we will get to the point where we no longer recognize our true nature. We believe that we are the costume we wear.
The problem with assuming a garment that doesn’t quite fit is that the seams rub against our skin. It chafes and itches. We are constantly tugging at sleeves not quite long enough and pulling up pant legs so long that we trip over them. Have you ever tried wearing clothes that don’t quite fit? Besides being uncomfortable to wear, clothes that don’t fit properly simply don’t look flattering. The same is true with our make-believe garments. No matter how much we think we can hide inside them, we can never be comfortable in them and we will never look quite right to others.
Oh sure, there will be plenty of people fooled by our costumes! We can probably fool the strangers we smile at on the street or the cashier at the grocery store. We can fool a good number of people most of the time, but we cannot fool everyone. The people who want to know us will not be fooled so easily, even if they are much too polite to tell us the truth.
I know from experience how difficult it can be to cast aside the costume. If you read this blog, then you are most likely aware that the title is Becoming Angela. The entire purpose of this blog is about this journey of mine, of becoming myself. This quote is my quote…well, not actually my quote, but you know what I mean, right? This is my story. This is the how and the why behind the casting aside of my fictitious self.
One thing I can tell you…this is a daily challenge. This becoming is a continuous process. I have yet to wake up to discover that I have arrived at that perfect place of knowing and being exactly who I am. I am not the same person as I was a few years ago. I’m sure that those who know me well can attest to that. This real me has always been inside…it was just hidden beneath layers of costumes that I thought, rather mistakenly, would make me someone worth knowing, worth caring about. I wish I could say that I have shed all my layers of unnecessary garments, but I know that I haven’t. It’s a journey and I’m taking it one day at a time.