The Looking Glass Self is my Bitch

First a word on the title of this blog.

I have throughout my life, in various social groups, been labelled as “the quiet one.” Literally in one case when someone uploaded a picture to MySpace (some nostalgia for you there) of each of her friends with tags that supposedly summed up their personalities. It wasn’t meant cruelly but it was one of the many moments that you don’t forget, that come to define who you are.

I took a class in Sociology at college and found it fascinating. As someone who’s always felt as though they are on the outside looking in it’s incredibly satisfying to strip down the mechanisms of society piece by piece, reduce it down to something that can’t hurt you.

I’m going to take a mini detour off topic here to mention that it is Sociology that always comes into the back of my mind when I wonder if I ought to be working 9 to 5 and earning some decent money as opposed to clinging on avidly to the hope of one day being a published author. The teacher, who I’ll admit to being terrified of at first with her forthright nature and beady eyes, often talked about the rat race and the bread and circuses that feed them. I’ve always thought, surely there is more to life than that, surely I am meant for more than that?

One of the concepts that stuck with me is the idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy and the looking glass self. Excuse me if my definitions are somewhat wonky, college was longer ago than I can believe. Basically the gist of it is that you become the label society gives you, you internalise it. Your identity is shaped by how other people see you, how they react to you, the things they say and this becomes not just how they see you, but how you see yourself. It’s like the chicken and the egg all over again, what came first, was I born this way or did I just internalise my label really well? I think both play a part.

It might seem odd that I chose to give my label to the name of this blog. I do get sick of people saying “you’re very quiet aren’t you”, I mean duh do you think somehow it had escaped my notice? The reason is I wanted to take back the label and make it into something positive. It’s my way of telling the world yes that’s me, I’m proud of who I am.

Also if I wasn’t such a quiet little weirdo I might not have ended up wanting to be a writer. I might have snagged myself an amazing job where my fabulous communication skills and self-confidence would shine. But that wouldn’t really be me. Writing is me.

So this blog will focus a lot on writing, my thoughts and progress as I wade through the second draft of my first full on, proper, actually written it this time, novel. I will also ponder the struggle of being an introvert in an extroverted world. So basically ramble on about myself, sounds thrilling doesn’t it. Really what I want this blog to be about is learning to accept yourself for who you are and telling the rest of the world to stuff it because you’re awesome, yes you hiding in the corner with a book, you rock.

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