“Only once have I been made mute. It was when a man asked me, “Who are you?”
– Kahlil Gibran, – ‘Sand and Foam’ –
To be asked to tell you of myself, my response would be silence. This silence tells of a moment’s contemplation; a brief hesitation… Which version is it that I am selling you? For I have a choice of three approaches: one voices only the great parts of my story, whilst the other confesses the flawed and undesired elements. Only when paired together, does the truth truly reveal itself as the third and final “whole”…
And so we are left with three entities, three versions of ourselves; the sole great, the shaded flaws, and then the whole truth. It is somewhere within this paradox that my words disappear to, whilst searching for the right response. In its struggle, I’m left stranded with nothing but silence to offer, as it is up to me to choose the degree of my divulgence.
But as my fingers are more articulate than my words will ever be, I thought it best to find myself in the refuge of these pages. Here is where I choose to write my story…
“Who am I…?”
I’m inclined to tell you of my virtue by way of my work and achievements… After all, that is all that I am ever asked about: When I meet someone new, I’m asked about my job. When I apply for a job, I’m interviewed about my experience. Along with my experiences, I’m measured by my achievements. When I achieve something, I introduce myself with it. So I’ll begin my exploration by that decree. But before that, let’s start off with my facts of opinion:
I’m likeable. Everyone thinks so. I’m not sociable. Nobody knows so. Although my life may appear to be shrouded in mystery, the only thing it’s concealing is my motionless tale. I prefer the solitude of the night, from the glare of the day. I prefer the keeping of a few friends, than the trophies of the many. I choose internal happiness, over a fabricated external public show.
I live in a world of my own design, and as such no one knows who I really am, but I know myself all too well. Spending this much time alone will do that to you. I’m very self-aware, both a great thing and perhaps a flaw.
And so we’ve come back to the great and the flawed; the noise surrounding the truth. Where one reveals the glory, and the other shades the muck. Choose to see only one-half of your tale, and you’ll be damned; damned for arrogance, or damned for insecurity. Both carry with it detrimental delusions; be it with a false set of wings that will lead you to your descent, or an illusory anchor that will have you trapped.
It is only when you place the two together that the truth can be honored. Ying and Yang. Light and dark. Good and bad. With that, I’ll show you my imbalance through the disparity…
* * *
I am a legal advocate.
My great side wants me to begin by saying that I graduated in Law and I was top of the class with very little effort.
My flawed side omits the following fact: that after my degree, I left the field and never went back.
The truth is, I was silly enough to start my life’s journey with two huge and entirely different career aspirations. But I was wise enough to ditch one before wasting too many years on it. However, if anything, my degree is proof that I can start and finish something, with very good credentials.
I made myself work hard. Now I’m starting to work smart.
I am a music creative.
My great achievements want me to sing praise once again, for I landed an opportunity to work for one of the biggest record labels in the world and I was behind many of the vital creative developments for an array of artists.
My flaw wants me to bury the fact that it was uncredited and unrecognised and made me lose faith in huge corporations for stealing ideas without aknowledgement.
The truth is, I did it for my love of music, and it was solely this venture that made me recognise the great ideator in me. It injected me with the self-belief that was necessary for my further pursuits.
I heard the sound of music, I sang along and danced behind the stage, and then I bowed out. But I recognised my rhythm as a result.
I am a filmmaker.
Greatness intervenes again, wanting me to showcase my creative hat by way of film. My great stride comes in my subsequent study of this art, where I learnt the technical side to the craft, making me more efficient as a result. Paired with my knack for idea creation, this placed me in prime position to write, direct and produce my own projects! As a result, I’ve been fortunate enough to Direct the opening episode of a series, and I have a short film underway, leading me nicely towards my Directing dreams.
The flawed shade seeks to conceal my reluctance in taking on those projects, and the reality that I wasn’t sought after for either of those opportunities; instead, they both came as a result of my sister’s driving hand, which pushed me to do it.
The truth is, although passion leads my pursuits and my creativity fuels them, I let the lure of self-doubt taunt me; I felt inexperienced and nervous at the prospect of such practical experiences, so I was hesitant to take on such big roles. However, the experiences proved to be successful and were excellent learning grounds. They have cemented my goals and showed me that this is my destined path.
I’ve started the climb and soon shall conquer the mountain.
I am a writer.
My great joy lies in my newfound confidence in my writing; my visions transcribed through my flair for creativity and my forte for scriptwriting. With that, my first novel is underway and I have instigated several scripts too.
My flaws and regrets come in my inability to finish what I start, thus making me the author of plenty of half prose, writer of incomplete scripts, and instigator of epic ideas which have been left soulless and empty shelled. Inactivity has stunted progress, thus reducing my efforts and weakening my momentum.
Truth is, I don’t know why I’m like this. I have too many great visions and ideas, and not enough discipline and focus to commit to a single one before embarking on another. However, I am not in the business of condemning my words to the dark abyss. Instead, I take a step back, knowing that I can and WILL revisit it when the time is right. Although I may lose momentum, I can also gain clarity by taking a hiatus.
I’ve researched, I’ve planned, I’ve drafted, and soon enough, the rite of writing will be made right when I finally reap what I’ve sown.
I am a photographer
My great pride lurks within the pixels of the photos I take. Photos I take to reveal untold stories, by stopping time; taking a moment and holding it still. It bridges the finite to the infinite. With that, candid photo’s speak a thousand times louder than any words ever could. Thus, I choose to use my lens as the amplifier for those moments, and frame them for an eternity.
My shadowed flaw is that my pictures belong to that of an opportunist, who seldom goes out searching for shots, but rather, is prepared for when the shots choose to reveal themselves. But I do it with no technique. I know no rules. I click to my hearts content and stamp my mark on the shot which piercers though my heart with the most impact. I lead with my heart, not with technical skill. I look through my lens eye, not through my own. But I cannot take credit for a moment. When it comes to the moments I capture, I’m just lucky I guess.
The truth is, I picked up the camera at a time where I wanted to remain a fly on the wall, with my veil of anonymity in tact. That’s how I became what I am now; a self-taught opportunist. The art in the photo’s I take, is the heart within them. The sort of heart that comes from the subjects I shoot, and not my own camera lens… the heart that I am lucky to be there to capture; the right place at the right time.
Nonetheless. I’m a storyteller, seeking stories, equipped with nothing but a pen, a camera, and an open heart.
Through my photography, I will stamp my mark on future history, as I begin to contribute to sharing a shade of the world that is unseen by everyone except me; such is the truth through everyone’s own eyes.
* * *
So who am I? My greatness will tell you that I am a legal advocate, a music creative, a writer, a director, a photographer and a fundamental ideator! Truth is, I’m not exactly any of those. And that is the two shades of my truth.
I suppose it depends on how I choose to define myself. I have it within me to sell myself under any of those titles mentioned above. But to reveal the whole truth, would render my title as a half-truth, and in this fast-paced day and age, that just isn’t enough.
Although, perhaps this is an indication that the world is just too big to confine ourselves under a single title…
Perhaps the extended question should be: do I define myself by my experience or my aspirations? I’m more inclined to side with the latter.
Better yet, perhaps the point of definitions are all wrong…
Instead of listing who we are by way of experience and credentials, we should speak of our heart and our spirit. Instead of endorsing our vocations or promoting how good we are at a craft we are yet to fully attempt, why can it not be enough to simply say that our hearts are big, our mind is open, our will is determined, and we will try our utmost best, to be as good as we are expected to say that we are. Should that not be enough? I believe that it should be. Because our glowing hearts reveal a far greater truth than our tailored tales.
Whatever we choose to define ourselves by, I hope that the less desired shade of the flawed, shakes itself off, and the truth starts to migrate solely under the shade of the great. Because if we truly become as great as the best parts of our realities, without all the facts we consciously conceal, then we will all be at the helm of our own greatness.
* * *
With that, amongst all of the possible definitions, there’s one that I believe holds my spirit true. And that is, that I am lucky.
The flaw, however, is that I know it. Knowing that I am lucky, gives me the courage to reach for the stars, when others only dare to look at them. However, this sense of certainty can be a curse, because, with it, I lack immediacy. This, in turn, can be self-sabotaging when reaching out to the stars in my own pace; a stretch into the dark, for a shooting light which is flickering and fleeting, and all too quick, gone.
The truth is, I do not feel the pressure nor the urgency of Time; I operate under a broken clock, wearing a timeless watch; outside of the pouring sands of the hourglass. Without the threat of passing time, there is no threat of passing moments. This allows me to work at my own pace and gives me the false sense of comfort; thinking that I may do things on my own terms because luck is on my side. But that’s the thing about luck, it gives you an opportunity; fail to seize it, and you lose it. More often than not, I lose it…
Fundamentally, that is why I am able to reach for whatever my heart desires, and then hit the pause button and walk away, thinking it will wait for me upon my return. That is why knowing that I am lucky, is my great flaw. That’s my main truth. The whole truth. In all its infamous glory…
Diary of a Deluded Heart
So that’s me. Self-definition can be a daunting task, but I’m getting closer…
If the tale of my great flawed truth has made you think about yours, then I’d love to extend the branch and have you share yours below!
Ask yourself, within the prism of your life, where does your greatness show itself and where do your flaws hide…? Place them together, and you’ll find your whole truth…
➵ ∞ #DiaryOfaDeludedHeart