Not the kind where you sit quietly and contemplate all that is right and wrong in your world, but rather, the kind where you listen to yourself speak to see if you are truly articulating what you feel when you are in the moment.
The question I have is which is the real me? The goof at work and at play who has a memory like a sieve and tells some awful jokes? The serious marketer and researcher who gets so engrossed in a topic that hours fly by when I'm on a mission to learn all I can about a subject? The flirty, flippant conversationalist who can and often does strike up conversations wherever I might be? The very loyal, dedicated wife and mother and friend who can offer laser sharp attention on the needs of my chosen family and block out the world when they are ill? Is it the confident, extraverted woman who knows what she wants or the more introverted, quiet, insecure girl that still lives inside and often doubts her abilities?
Who am I? Who are you? Who are we when we meet?
Do we show different parts of our personalities to different audiences, or are we the same all the time?
It's true, we are the same people, but the circumstances in which we can express ourselves can make us appear one way or another to even our closest companions. Why is that? Why do some people and some situations make us feel incredibly confident and creative and others pull out our insecurities and put them on display for all to see?
I'd like to say that there are answers for these questions. I'd like to think that we could just be ourselves regardless of who the audience might be. But I think that is unrealistic. There are times we need to let go and other times when we need to restrain ourselves because we aren't necessarily sure of where we fit in in the scheme of things. But underneath that, we are at our core, the same people, with the same dreams, hopes, strengths and idiosyncrasies that make us unique.
So when I hear someone say that they had no idea that someone was so shy or so loud or so creative or so contemplative -- I have to think that the person commenting just doesn't bring out those qualities in the person being discussed.
I think we are all like Rubic's Cube. Only when you line up all the squares does side become complete. And it takes a lot of practice to solve the puzzle -- it can't be done overnight. With most of us, I believe getting to know all of our sides may take a lifetime of trying -- a lifetime of willingness to play and experiment.