Who is Your Authentic Self?


I don’t know if I should have a sense of shame about this (I don’t), but back in college I took a Lit course from a grad student whose initials were BS.  That’s irrelevant.

Some of the books listed were comic books.  It’s how I discovered Maus, a comic that took on the Holocaust.  I highly recommend this comic, if you haven’t read it. It’s beautifully told and composed.  Now that I have that out of the way, I can get back to more important topics.

I thought that I had conceived a completely original idea. I was trying to impress BS to get an A, and we were discussing the Batman comic, one of the stories written by Frank Miller. He went over my writing, pointing out:”so here you have Bruce Wayne assuming the character of Batman” and I, like a smartass, contradicted him. “No. It’s the other way around. Batman is the real person, and he’s assuming the character of Bruce Wayne.”

That idea still fascinates me. I often feel that there are many selves that I have to assume to survive in the everyday world. There is my Professional Self, my Daughter Self, my Social Self, my Other Social Self, my Sarcastic Self, etc. and so on.  All these selves vary, according to who it is that I happen to be associating with.  I think everyone wears masks, to a certain degree. Now the question is, which one of these is the real, authentic self?

My working theory is that the Self who is truly happy is your authentic representation. There can be more than one. There are no rules. It takes a certain degree of self awareness to recognize who you are in relation to others, who you become.  And it takes a different kind of awareness, to know in the heart of your soul, if you truly enjoy being that person.


2 thoughts on “Who is Your Authentic Self?

  1. kara says:

    I love this line: “My working theory is that the Self who is truly happy is your authentic representation.” I agree that you can be authentically happy in a variety of roles. The important thing is to focus on what brings you joy and to create more of that, while eliminating (or reducing) the roles that deprive you of energy and happiness. Thanks for the thoughtful post!


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