Today we visit the archive…form an orderly queue and no chewing gum!

Today’s Archive post comes to us from 2007–which is utter madness. EIGHT YEARS AGO? But it is still one of my favorites.

I mentioned that while in Houston, I got to loll around at the Hotel Zaza reading the latest Vogue. Penelope Cruz was on the cover, and there was a feature pictorial of her in the MOST sumptuous ballgowns by Balenciaga and Marchesa. Honestly, I would be buried in ANY of them, and I’m not even planning on being buried at all. (The pictorial also featured a bullfighter, and let me just say, animal cruelty charges aside, WOW. That matador gear is alarmingly attractive when it’s half off. Who knew?) But the part that impressed me the most was not La Cruz’s obvious beauty, it was this quote: You cannot live your life looking at yourself from someone else’s point of view. Genius.

And difficult. This is an issue I’ve struggled with a LOT over the last year in particular. People feel very free to offer opinions–sometimes critical ones–and the internet provides a very cozy place for anonymity. There are those who could never do what I do, but who feel free to dismiss it with a scornful word or a wave of the hand. These are people I do not understand, nor do I wish to. I think any job, done with integrity and creativity and thoughtfulness, is worthy of respect. (I suspect that the people who are most dismissive and vicious about other people’s work are deeply dissatisfied with their own, but I could be wrong. Amateur psychology is a thorny place to wander.)

In any event, I believe Penelope is right. We are so busy worrying about how other people see us, that we forget to see ourselves as we really are. After all, anyone else’s perception of us is filtered through the lenses of their experience. What they see is perhaps not what we really ARE. And it’s no use trying to GUESS how other people see us because it’s hopeless at best. We don’t hear the inflection of our own voices, see our own expressions. The most we can hope for is authenticity, an elusive and difficult quality to master. We have to know ourselves before we can show ourselves. And if anyone objects to that, we will remind ourselves that their point of view is simply that: a single point in a very big world.


5 thoughts on “Today we visit the archive…form an orderly queue and no chewing gum!”

  1. Debbie Kemp says:

    Wise words! I like how you are-funny, quirky and an excellent writer! Keep on being you:)
    Debbie

    1. Thank you, Debbie–very kind!

  2. Lynne says:

    Sorry, Deanna, but anyone who has never tried to write to publish has no right to throw stones…or anything else. And I love the quote. We all do that – allowing others to define us – and it is a terrible habit. I have done it and have a male (platonic) friend who is doing it. His wife left him several years ago and he still seems to believe he’s just not worthy of other people’s admiration or care. I have seen so many people who are smart, talented, caring, etc. allow themselves to be defined by others. I guess that’s why I think we need to share kind words with both friends and strangers as often as we can. What a difference a few words can make!

    And I love the “form an orderly queue and no chewing gum”! You made me laugh out loud!!

  3. Kerrie Howard says:

    It’s amazing to me what people will post. I guess I don’t believe I’m anonymous- I know if I’ve been unkind regardless if anyone else knows. Even if I don’t care for a story I’m not going to tell the author. It’s like telling a parent you don’t like their kid!

    1. I think assuming you’re never REALLY anonymous is a genius strategy!

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