There’s a fantastic line in the song ‘Disillusion’ by Badly Drawn Boy on The Hour of Bewilderbeast album: “Seems you created your own illusion fueled by an image of me.” I wrote it down several months ago in a draft here to remember. Right about that time a person re-entered my life and this lyric was oddly appropriate, as she was operating on outdated information. It seemed she had created her own illusion fueled by an image of me that was no longer me, probably was never me, but an image that would make it impossible to move forward.
And that happens, right? There are people who decide who you are based on who you were or what you do or what they are or what they do or what they heard. It is frustrating and sad. I’m not sure if the image was one I couldn’t live up to, or if the image was too low and created a watching/waiting situation, where any hint would prove the image “true,” even if it isn’t. Either way, it was a straitjacket from which I couldn’t escape and the relationship imploded soon enough. A good thing, to be sure.
The post, then, was supposed to be about others placing images and illusions and expectations on our shoulders that make it nearly impossible to transcend. But lately it’s transmogrified into the impossibly transcended images, illusions & expectations we heap on our own heads. Cages built with our own hands. Boxes we’ve constructed and tightly locked and at the same time, hold the keys to our own emancipation.
I don’t care very much about what this draft was supposed to be. The amount of control I have over what others think, what images others hold, is, in the very best case scenario, zero. So yes, frustrating and sad, but pointless to spend much time or energy trying to manage. Yet we do, and that’s where our own carefully crafted images come into play.
Who does he/she need me to be? But it’s not just that simple, is it? Who does he/she need me to be here, now, in this situation? Or how about now, in this one? It’s a sliding scale that never stops sliding. That is true oppression, yoked to an ever changing target, shape-shifting with the day and moment, until we are totally lost.
I spent too much time searching for me as I was also searching for the idea of “me” that would please every single person on earth. Once I got away from “me” for a little while, I could consider who this other me was. It is a long process. Oh baby, it’s a long process. But it does happen, in glimpses and flashes. Hard, absolutely necessary work. The world doesn’t need more superficiality or inauthentic facades. The world needs more you’s and me’s and waaaaay less “you’s” and “me’s.” So maybe we could let these things float away like balloons into the sky and show up, completely present and completely us. I bet we will find us to be wonderful.