Being Real, Really

I was turned on to a blog post about a week ago that compelled me to expound on the idea of real, particularly or perhaps specifically because of my claim to be a realist, as the title of my blog would imply. The post, I Don’t Know What it Means to be Real was something I saw re-Tweeted I think by fellow blogger @hanolsy and I would urge you to click-through and follow her, her blog, AND of course @GunmetGeisha and her blog as well. Thanks again to GG for the inspiration!

How many times in a given day do you think you act on some impulse, or on some external motivator and portray yourself as something you’re not? I’m not necessarily talking about lying to someone (or even yourself!) or knowingly putting on a face for a situation that’s not how you usually consider yourself. I’m talking about those on-the-fly, unconscious moments of action and thought. You’d have to guess because we aren’t keeping lists (probably) of the things we do unconsciously every day.

I’d say there are plenty of times I say something out loud to myself or maybe DO something as I’m walking or driving that only I see or experience, things that don’t necessarily embody the person I believe me to be. But if those things are coming from our unconscious, don’t they really reflect who we are much more than anything we might take time to prepare for display?

Part of me hopes that’s not true. If it is, I’m probably not nearly as good a person as I think. all too often I allow my emotions to control what I think and say BUT it’s 99.9% of the time for my ears only. I suppose I have control enough not to share those things publicly and thus avoid whatever potentially unpleasant consequences they would otherwise carry. Maybe I’m over thinking it but in those moments it’s unlikely I’m thinking much at all.

Being real with people is pretty much how I try to live my life. I don’t want to give off the wrong vibe when I’m meeting a stranger, who does? At the same time, I don’t want to intentionally do something fake, be someone I’m not, specifically to impart the impression I agree with something or like something I don’t. But am I really controlling that? Is the REAL me saying what I intend to say or is it being filtered, unknowingly but necessarily by some part of my brain so that I don’t simultaneously light a match, flick it at the person I’m speaking to and squeeze a long stream of gasoline out of a bottle at the flame?

Not sure why that scenario was so easy to envision, maybe I should be concerned, but if it’s a real thought, should I want to suppress it? I suggest in the title of my blog that I’m a Realist specifically to combat the idea readers might develop, from their interpretation of my opinions, that I’m a Pessimist. I don’t think everything is bad or that everyone is bad, but if I’m seeing something In Real Life, can I really even know if it’s real or not?

This was far more existential than it seemed in my head before I put it here. I’m not trying to piggyback on the (conspiracy) theory that we actually live in The Matrix. I was spurred to wax theoretic on the subject by something interesting I read, which is where the majority of my musing comes from anyway. If I had too many original thoughts I’m afraid I might write a book or something. Ha.