If you ask me to tell you something about myself, I’ll tell you what I do for a living; that i like to read and write and that I spend my weekends dancing in blackened clubs until I walk out into the sunrise of the next day. If you ask me to tell you about myself, I’ll tell you that I do some sport, although not as much as I should, and that I have an expensive sneaker addiction.
I’ll tell you I like to spend time with my friends, that I fill my summers with festivals and outdoor music and that I live alone. If you ask me to tell you about myself, I’ll tell you many things, but what I won’t tell you is what’s going through my mind when my racing thoughts keep me up at night, or how certain words are enough to send my stomach doing backflips. I won’t tell you what I daydream about when I get distracted from my day or about my fears for the coming years.
I won’t tell you about my favorite books and the feelings they stir in me; I won’t send you links to my favorite songs so you can share in them, too. I won’t tell you stories about my life or share details about my best friends and why it is that I love them so much. I won’t tell you about what makes me cry instantly or what makes my stomach cramp with laughter, or that one of my favourite things to do is to sit alone with a cigarette and watch the world go by from my apartment as the sun sets in the background.
If you ask me to tell you about myself, I’ll tell you about some hobbies and what I did at the weekend, but I’ll tell you nothing of who I am as a person. I won’t tell you that I get giddy when I’m too tired, or irritable without my morning cup of tea. That I’m still trying to find my place in this world and that a lot of the time I feel like I’m navigating it alone.
If you ask me to tell you about myself, I won’t tell you any of these things because I want you to find out for yourself. I want you to see how I react when you say certain words or look at me a certain way. I want you to navigate your way through my mind the way I am through the world. I want you to discover me on your own terms: to see me through your own eyes and discover the me that’s important to you. I want you to form your questions into keys and to get inside my mind and caress its every possession until everything is unlocked. Don’t ask me to tell you something about myself.