Thursday, July 12, 2007

Being Comfortable in One’s Own Skin

Going to Macbeth on Sunday got me thinking: To be able to show yourself to world without any clothes on means you have to be really comfortable with yourself – comfortable with who you are, as you are. No, it is definitely not for everyone, of course. But the symbolic act of putting yourself out there without hiding behind a costume, whatever that costume may be, seems to me like a goal that one should aim towards.

Like I said earlier, to first look at the unclothed actors was a bit jarring. In a play, as in daily life, we count on costumes to tell us who someone is – who is the servant? Who is the soldier? Who is the King? Who is a witch? When you don’t have that in front of you, you really have to take notice of how a person carries themselves, the tone of their voice, the content of what they are speaking to know who they are and where they stand. Many of the characters played multiple roles, so you could tell when a person changed from being a witch to a soldier just by how she straightened up and presented her lines. One of the male characters (and they all had beards) played both the elder MacDuff and the young MacDuff. He played young MacDuff hunched on his knees and the way he held himself and delivered his lines was quite affecting – he really made you believe he was a little boy, which made the moment when young MacDuff was killed feel that much more wrenching.

But back to my original statement . . . right now, I know that I’m not feeling all that comfortable in my own skin. There are so many changes going on both inside of me and outside of me, that I barely feel competent half the time. As I continue to figure out who I am and who I should be, I seem to find myself shopping for new clothes much more often than I have in the past – a new sundress here, a new shirt there. It is almost as if I’m trying to find the clothing persona that will fit me best during this time period. Some clothes work and some clothes are like “why the heck did I spend money on THAT?”

Maybe the first work to do is to be happy with who I am, as I am. I am slightly overweight, short, with interesting hair. I tend to be quiet unless I know you really well. I like going out and seeing things in the world. I like learning new things. I like eating at restaurants. I like cooking for people I care about sometimes. I like sitting off by myself and reading sometimes. I like having people I adore really close to me sometimes. I am loyal to a fault. I sometimes create hurts toward myself so that others don’t hurt me later. I have an interesting sense of humor. I feel stupid often, but usually know what I am talking about when I do speak. I like observing and listening to others.

I need to feel confident enough to say “Look at me. This is who I am - Warts and all.” I need to have the courage of the actors in Macbeth and show the real me to the world and not be phased by it. I need to stop hiding behind my insecurities . . .

Easier said than done, of course, but I really need to try.


Virginia Gal said...

I think you are on the right path Random Kath - through this past year, I've found staying positive helps.
I know it sounds corny but the premise behind the Secret works. I think if you stay positive about yourself, your confidence will grow and soon you'll be shouting "look at me, this is who I am warts and all."
ps - in my book you rock!

Claire said...

Random Kath,

You sound way cool. Getting to know oneself -- and then actually learning to appreciate and accept that person is a life-long process. Don't beat yourself up for not having all the answers. No one does! Anyone who says she has completely self-actualized and quashed all self-doubt is a big liar.

Random Kath said...

Thanks, Claire! Thanks, Virginia Gal!

You know, give advice to other people all the time - try to get them to feel positive about themselves, but I am so lousy at doing it for myself. This blog is being very helpful as I am trying to work through things in my own brain - all the stuff I know will instinctively help others, I have to internalize and make instinctive to myself.

CS said...

AH, it's always easier to tell someone else, isn't it? This is an area where all you can do is practice it until it comes naturally. I find my comfort in my skin waxes and wanes, it's not an either/or propostions. But you are on the right path with your intent, so good for you!