Know who you are.

Who am I?

The classic question of navel-gazing philosophers… Who am I? Why am I here? Who put their balls in my mouth while I was asleep?

Really, though. This is a question that goes so deep that most people don’t even have a fucking clue how to answer it. Many of us don’t really know who we are, deep down, down there in the fucking cockles of your soul. Whatever that means. We just don’t know, and we haven’t bothered to figure it out.

We’re too busy with living to spend any time on figuring out why we’re living. The job, the bills, the wife, the kids, the mortgage. Past that shit, who’s got time to figure out philosophical shit?

Well, I do. I have the time, because I work like 4 hours a day and spend the rest of my time fucking about. So here’s what I’ve learned.

Each of us has two “selves”. The first, is the person we are. This is how we see ourselves and how we present ourselves to others on the surface. This includes things like our job, our physical health, our education & skills… All that shit you tell people at parties when they ask what you’re doing with your life. That’s your “Self Number One”.

Number two is where your real, dirty, messy, secret self lives. That’s all the shit you dream about while you’re busy at work wishing you were at home. They’re your dark desires, your secret passions, your daydreams behind the desk. This is the self you see yourself becoming. It’s the Socratic ideal of yourself you keep locked away inside your brain, safe from the corruption of outside influences.

This second self is the poet, the painter, the ravenous lover. It’s the sweet seductive dream that you never let yourself chase after. It’s the truth behind the lies you tell just to get through the day. It’s the version of yourself that you know is correct. It’s your final form, your ultimate identity. It’s the grand vision of “you-ness”. It’s you, according to you.

Most of us are at least a little familiar with that second self. Sometimes it’s that nagging voice in the back of your mind telling you to do the things you wish you had to courage to do. And sometimes it’s subtler than that, just a soft yearning in your spirit for something more than your daily grind. It’s the wistful look in your eye, looking outside on a rainy day.

If you search for it long enough, you can nail down exactly what that second self feels like. You can feel it, absorb it, let it run through your veins. You can live as though you were that person. Walk how you would walk, speak how you would speak, live how you would live. Let that second self take the driver’s seat for a moment.

I don’t have any advice about how to do that, and honestly it’s too difficult for most people to do anyway. I have free time out the wazoo, and I barely manage to do this for a few minutes on a good day. But it’s important for people to know that the second, truer version of themselves is real. Maybe with a little awareness of that sleeping truth in the back of your mind, that second self will wake up. Just a little bit.

Or maybe I’m full of it. Don’t believe me just because it sounds good.

With love,
Your second self.

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