I Am Tainted By My Perspective

I Am Tainted By My Perspective

Have you ever thought about what your self-portrait might look like as a written piece instead of a visual one?
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Recently I've been contemplating what it means to have "perspective" and how that plays a role in the way in which we take in the world around us. Oscar Wilde phrases the contemplation this way: "Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter."

As of last week, I was given this quote as well as the assignment to "project myself—my interiority or state of mind—onto the observed thing."

Woah. I thought to myself "Okay, so I'm writing a self-portrait instead of drawing one? That's a new one." Here is what I found myself with upon completion of the exercise:

What is perspective, if not a mere projection of ourselves and thoughts onto the world we see around us? Perhaps this is why when reading this prompt I read "interiority" as "inferiority." I can see this written self-portrait of myself going in a variety of ways, just as I can see my future going as well. I see a small but mighty girl with roots in Tennessee who has also been mistaken for a European international student. Her Austrian roots "reflect strongly in her manner and demeanor", she was told recently.

I see a girl who sometimes feels limited or defined by her age and often takes offense to slight mentions of being called "kiddo"" or "little bit" while out in public. Perhaps this is because this girl always struggles with "living in the moment" when her mind is racing a million miles a minute to dream about what the future might hold or who she might become. She's not anxious or unhappy in her present state but she always keeps a small string tethered to the kite that is the idea of the looming future and all of its possibilities.

She is often referred to as "confident" or "unstoppable" when it comes to her work ethic but when the moon comes up and the sun goes down, the stars aren't the only thing that becomes illuminated. Her fears, inferiorities and short-comings begin to light up too as her mess of brown, tousled curls fall around her face, making her look as youthful and naive as she will all day.

Perhaps she feels this too. Everyone has some sort of security blanket and for her, it happens to be her grown-out, Austrian-heritage hair that carelessly sprawls about on the fresh, white pillowcase as she clinches her eyes shut after a mentally taxing day of trying to live both in the present and future.

She envies her hair; the most carefree thing about her. It curls and roams and lives as it wishes without any awareness of what it "should" or "shouldn't" be doing.

She then catches herself with the thought that "envy is a green-eyed monster" as countless adults have told her so many years before.

"Think. Correct. Modify. Act. Repeat." This is the cycle she falls into with each action of every day.

As she eventually drifts off to sleep, after running through her nightly, mental list of "what-if's" and "to-dos" she thinks to herself how liberating it is that for the next few hours, her mind can roam and dream without the policing and censoring she often places on herself throughout the day.

She thinks to herself how liberating it is to recognize the power and control that comes with acknowledging the projections that find their way into her daily perspective.

My hope is that my sharing of this exercise urges you to become aware of your own perspective without shouldering the desire to change your perspective. Simple awareness is the goal.

Cover Image Credit: Sophia Winter

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You Are What You Eat, You Are What You Read

“Would many choices be better than limited choices?”
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Every day, choosing what to wear and what to eat are hard tasks. And if there is no satisfactory clothing and location that bump into mind, we may feel uncomfortable with the clothing we wear for the day, and there is a possibility for us to skip the meal, though sometimes the hunger holds.

Once I saw a friend posting “When would our hesitation of deciding what to wear and what to eat come to an end?”, a normal and typical complain of our mundane life. For no reason, I started thinking, when and how would this “problem” resolve itself? Sure, I was very curious about the answer as well.

Later, I have arrived at two answers. The positive one would be that we know exactly what we want to wear and eat, though there are many choices ahead, we would directly choose the one that is in mind, without hesitation. While the negative one would be, there is only one choice hanging, that we have no other choice.

I was terrified of the answers immediately.

Washington D.C. is a small city geographically, but as the capital, D.C. provides us multiple choices over many spectrums of our lives – internships, sightseeing sights, museums, National Mall, etc. Just like the difficulty posted earlier, we have too many choices.

“Would many choices be better than limited choices?” I guess this is the real question behind my friend's complains.

Normally, we believe more options are better than less, then the core of the question comes into the person:

What do you want?

Who do you want to be?

And all I can think of are:

You are what you eat.

You are what you read.

We probably arrived at this philosophical question about what is contained in our bodies? Physically, the food we eat largely determines our health conditions. As most of us pursue our lives to be healthy, we have created a healthy diet, which introduced the better eating styles with a certain percentage of specific kinds of food. In this case, "eating" not only represents a mere action, it also determines our lifestyles and the physical appearance of ourselves.

Outside of physical health, mental health is the other very important category for people in this time era to take good care of. And the easiest way to build up our mental stability is to read, so we can learn more about the world and then to understand ourselves.

Eating and reading are the two inseparable parts of our daily lives, and to be more alive, continuing the two actions and trying to do our best in the two categories should be our goal of living. Because we know, they are the paths to the future we desire.

We are what we eat, and we are what we read.

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Beanstalk: A Poem

No longer, but a beanstalk.
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What once was is no longer.

You aren't, he isn't, she isn't.

No longer

themselves, yet a transformation,

a growth, a beanstalk.

Extending legs,

arms,

heart.

Touching those

surrounding

like a river hose.

Or one of those

others,

like a

tree and it's branches

touching the star

I once was, but no longer.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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