I recently discovered a thing that is perhaps known to the rest of mankind but was previously unknown to me, which is that we are never just one self, but rather we are an amalgam of selves. Oh, yes, I knew we all had different aspects of our selves - our social side, our good side, our sweet side, that temper we try to keep under wraps, and other undesirable traits that we ascribe to “sides” - but what I realized is that all of these sides are not traits, per se, but are all part of our true, authentic self.
That it is the sum total of the good and the bad, the desirable and undesirable that make us who we really are at the end of the day. For those of us that are shy, we learn to put on a good social facade, and that's important.
But who am I really? As I was sitting being interviewed again, a process I’ve been through many times in my life now, I wondered which side of me the reporter was going to see. Would she want the writer/journalist side? The person who ran Lumen Editions and was the enfant terrible of publishing for a time? Would she want the teacherly side, the person who could offer her sage advice about publishing and how to go about securing a good job, and hey, if she strikes a good chord with me, might even score a reference or an inside tip? After all, I've come to realize just recently that I have become the very thing or person I once used to hunt and pursue – that is, the mentor, the reference, the touchstone, the person who I look at and say I Want To Be Like Her When I Grow Up.
That anybody would want to be like me is a mystery in itself and I’m not sure that this reporter was after that, though in the past, certainly I have had the experience of being interviewed and then over the next several months, watching the person morph from themselves into version 1.0 of me. I’ve seen the same syndrome when I’ve run other companies – the younger women and interns begin as themselves and over the course of time, begin to emulate, just as I once emulated my mentor, only this time it is me whom they emulate. Which is just damn weird…