For my 30th birthday last month, my mom put together a collage that now hangs on a wall in my bedroom. It’s full of family pictures, with shots of me through the years sprinkled in here and there.
A huge part of who I am is reflected in the people who know and love me. Some are gone, many remain, but all of them have affected how I see myself.
But something struck me tonight.
Of everyone captured in these photographs, I’m the one I know the least. Well, it’s beyond not knowing myself–I mean, everything I experience is filtered through me, through my being. The oddness that I feel in trying to “know” me lies in the fact that I am the only person in the world whom I can’t encounter in the street.
There’s no me outside of me.
The only concrete way to describe this is to think about my answering machine at home. If I call and leave a message for my mom, and then arrive home to play it before she returns, I find myself listening to my self.
And the closer I get to me, the further away I feel.