Opinion: Self-discovery through another's eyes.

Apr 13, 2014

Tonight's post is going to be a little bit different than usual. I've been meaning to write about this for a while, but now I'm getting around to it in an attempt to procrastinate on the important academic stuff I should be dealing with instead.
A few weeks ago, I was having this gag-worthy adorable conversation with my boyfriend- he was telling me everything he's observed about me these past two years. And as he was listing more and more things, I came to a realization- we take so much of who we are for granted!

I'm not sure if I'm expressing what I want to say correctly. Basically, from the inside, growing into our own bodies, we become accustomed to ourselves to the point where there's never a sense of novelty. We just kind of take every little aspect of who we are and shrug it off as just that- a part of who we are. In doing so, we might think of ourselves as ordinary people with nothing special to offer, but from an outsider's perspective, things may be different.
Throughout our talk, I found myself thinking, 'Oh, wow, this really is me!' He was mentioning little things, that have always been such a huge part of who I am, yet I've never been able to detach myself from them enough to identify them as traits, assets, hobbies, etc.
As an example, I'm studying journalism because I'm tired of all the negativity the press is bombarding us with on a daily basis, and I would like to play a small part in the shift to positive news. Frequently, I spend my time watching UpWorthy videos, or scrolling through Buzzfeed's cute love-filled community posts. More than anything else, this is the stuff I share with my boyfriend, and, until he brought it up, I failed to realize just how important it was to identify this aspect of my life as a passion rather than just a habit. 
Society places such a strong emphasis on figuring yourself out rather than relying on other people's descriptions, and while it's an empowering concept, it does has its flaws. For one, as mentioned before, sometimes things become us to a point where we can't peel off the layers and analyze them as individual traits forming a whole. But another, equally important aspect is the fact that people tend to sugarcoat the way they view themselves and describe themselves more in terms of who they'd like to be than who they actually are. In theory, a lovely concept. In practice, a dose of realism really should be applied.

The moral of the story is this- you owe it to yourself to ask for an honest description of how you're perceived by other people. It could be your parents, it could be your significant others, it could be your friends. They could have some pretty strong insight into who you are, and what your strengths and weaknesses come across. You don't have to take their opinions to heart if you don't want to, but don't cheat yourself out of the opportunity to hear them.

Ever use the expression 'You know me better than I know myself'? Well, sometimes it's a major truth-bomb.

Thanks for stopping by :) 

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