I’d like to get to know you somehow

person shaking hands

I mug you. You think I am a thief.

You lose your wallet, I return it. You think I am generous.

I murder your child in a bomb explosion. You think I am a terrorist.

You and I quickly place people in boxes based on our experiences of them, but each person is more than what we see. What I know of you is but a small drop in a vast ocean of your personality.

I am with my friends. I laugh.

I am at work. I am serious.

I am with kids. I play.

You and I construct a variety of identities to fit into the social situations we find ourselves in. Yet we are not any one of the characters we portray, but some amalgamation of them all.

Both of these effects happen at the same time to doubly limit my understanding of you: My perception of you is limited to my experience of you and simultaneously the way you act around me is just one facet of who you are.

So, how can I can never know you, or you me?

Add to this the fact that my very nature of self is fluid and a bundle of contradictions. And then add to that the fact that many of my memories are not a photographic record of what happened but constructs to fill in the gaps that exist in the story of who I want to be.

How can I ever know you if I’m not even sure who I am?

 

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