I Know Not What I Am

I know what I am, but know not what I may become. A paraphrase from Hamlet. But perhaps that is an exaggeration. I may claim I know what I am, but it would only be through a filter of respectability I like to see myself through. But it is a lie. Maybe that is what I am. A liar. A purveyor of untruths. A man who wishes to sell an image that is more palatable to the public. A photoshopped version of myself with the blemishes and inaccuracies tidied away.

But who believes the image anymore? Too many jaded and cynical people exist. Worn down by the constant barrage of misinformation. Nothing is real whilst everything is hyperreal at the same time. The false and the true are not the absolutes they once were. Every falseness contains at least a grain of truth. Every truth has some degree of falseness about it. There are no boundaries. Everything is blurred.

And if my image is blurred to everyone else then that will feed through to what I see of myself. Of what I know of myself. And so do I really know what I am anymore?

I say I know not of what I may be. Of whom I can become. But in this world of fake plastic trees and digital replication I can become anything I design my image to be. It doesn’t matter if I don’t believe it. once it is designed and out there, for all intents and purposes, that is what I will be. As long as I can live with what I have designed then it is all good.

Yet it seems an impossible task. How will I know what I will be happy with? If I don’t truly know what I am doing today, how can I possibly design a future self?

Can I try something new whenever I get bored, or the new persona is uncomfortable, or do I have to suffer the misfortune that my choices now make for my future self? Does it even matter what I think of myself nowadays? Is it only how others perceive me that counts in this everchanging topsy turvy world of instant gratification and Instagram?

Every choice is so exhausting. Every decision is so scrutinised. Every mistake is blown out of all proportion. Every triumph is belittled by those who don’t understand, or try, or are petty jealous joy suckers. So why should I even try to show my best self? Why bother to show myself at all? Wouldn’t it be best to not show anything at all? To stay confined. Confined within my own four walls. To delete the digital world I have created around me. To cut every single strand of every single connection until I float there. Free of all those ties. Truly alone with myself. Perhaps then I could see just what I am now. I would know what sits within me away from the interference and prejudice of others poisoning the well of my psyche.

And once I had my true self-knowledge then I would be able to see what I really want to be in the future. Although having written this all down now I think I know what that would be.


An island.

An uninhabited shell.

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