“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
I realise what's hard is juggling a sort of triple life - private, public and secret. Because if Person No. 1 only knows Sides 1-2-3 and Person No.2 only knows Sides 7-8-9 of you, then your sense of self becomes so dissected into small slivers that you feel obligated to play the part that they already know. It becomes so hard to express how you truly feel/talk to someone I trust about it, partly because you don't know how to either. I've had different friends/acquaintances share their perceptions of me and their answers are so diverse from a morose,isolated artist pensive about uncertainty and death to a cheerful idealist who loves sharing bad jokes and pick-up lines to all who would listen. My tendency to compartmentalise myself is more for the benefit for others but when it starts to bleed into one another, then I can't help but to withdraw because there's this feeling that there's something I desperately need to hide from that person. I feel unwilling to turn to anyone because I don't want them to be "she's acting all strange"/"oh that's not the Shannen I know" etc. but sometimes I wonder how much that really matters because isolation makes everything feel worse. I literally ache for somebody/something/someone that I can show my best and worst sides to and be okay with it. Like "hey here's a jumbled mess of me" and he/she/it will be "alright, that's cool, here's mine" and we just get on with whatever.
2 a.m. thoughts because the months in Shanghai has made me a lot more critical and reflective. I thought a lot more clearly 3,803 km away and now that I'm back, I don't want to fall back into a comfortable trap and become the pre-Shanghai me, as if the things that happened in Shanghai didn't exist/matter, because it did. So this is me consciously practising self-reflexivity. It's true that distance, time and space can open your eyes.