I am scared to speak, to talk to you. What if I am not me? What if I create an image unlike myself?

What if, when I speak, the words I use, the phrasing and composition, the sound of my voice, the body language…what if it’s not me?

I’m scared to talk to you because I don’t want to be anyone but me. But I don’t know how to be me. “I” is the voice inside my head, the memories I cherish, the beliefs I hold, the things I see and the sounds I hear. “I” is a complex mix of thoughts, emotions, experiences and moods, surely “I” is constantly changing and evolving. If that is the case, surely I’m not alone in thinking it is impossible to know who “I” is at any given moment?

How can I ensure I am being faithful and true to myself if I don’t know who “myself” is at any point in time?

It’s easier to create a consistent image of myself if it’s a projected brand of who I think “I” should be. And it doesn’t matter whoever the true “I” is that may be hiding underneath. It is easier to project a constant if it is simply built on how I think I “should” act, and not all the variables which make up the true “me”.

At the same time, I want so desperately to be able to be “me” when I want to be. It’s terrifying to not know who you are. To want so desperately to be authentic and true to yourself, but to be unable to because you don’t know who that person is, and indeed because it’s fluid…impossible to catch, slipping through my fingers every time I reach for it.

It’s easier, therefore, not to try. To use the projection, the image. Or not even do that. To retract and not speak, not interact with anyone.

If I try to interact with others I feel so insecure. Not alone, but lonely.

It’s safe away from people then, alone but not lonely.


With thanks to The Daily Prompt for their writing prompt “Authentic”