Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is there an Athena living in my head too?

This is something I've written in my Blogcataog profile so it's not like a new discovery for me - but last night it struck me again and each time it does, it's a shock. This is what I had written
"I have now reached the conclusion that what I think of me might not be what others see me as".
And sometimes the two might actually be totally opposing views. So who's right and who's wrong or is it just relative? I mean if you think about it - the person who knows most about 'me' should be me - it is I who live in my head not others, right?

We are the ones who will have maximum knowledge of ourselves because let's face it, we think about ourselves more than anyone else ever will. Yet don't they say that to be able to see things clearly we need to put distance in between?

We had gone to a friend's get together yesterday, and it was one of those days that I was feeling particularly antisocial and wanting to stay home in bed with a good book, not even on my computer, that was the extent to which I felt the need to be alone. Anyway I had to go. We reached and I noticed myself acting like a consummate socialite, laughing and joking and entertaining people and actually having fun. There were a few people I was meeting for the first time, naturally seeing me like this they assumed that I was a very social, happy, jolly person - an opinion that I do not hold true of me at all.

In the course of the conversation this girl mentioned to me how I was such a happy go lucky person and blah blah. Of course, I thought to myself, you are seeing me today, what would you know. I tried to acquaint her with my view of me and she just gave me a blank stare, I kept insisting that tonight was just one of those surprising nights.

Two people really can't see the same phenomenon, argue many - so if there's this divide between our perception of ourself and someone else's - which one is me? I know they are all part of us, the faces we put on and the roles we play, are facets of our personality.

Whether it's the pretend us or the social us or the snooty us, doesn't make a difference, because we know all to be part of our nature, but to people we meet once, that is the person that is real. So if I tell you, I'm this or that, and you meet someone who has met me when I wasn't like that, who would you believe - especially if you knew both of us for the same time?

This girl I met, who I will probably never meet again, has an image of me, which to me is the total opposite of me but it's the only truth she has of me and will remember me as that for however long she does remember.

And this is just one example of strangers, sometimes this divide is felt when someone who knows us pretty well reveals something about us and we get shocked - that's not me, we think. In those cases who do we believe? Do we doubt our own self observation, or do we doubt whether the other person has understood us, or is it that our thoughts do not translate into our behaviour?

Each possibility poses a unique problem of its own - if the other person has not understood us then how do we make them do so, or will it be an exercise in futility?

Or are they actually right? We know them to be rational and if they have reached this conclusion it would be after observation of our behaviour ergo it must be correct. Then this would mean that we don't practice what we preach.

The whole question of who we really are then becomes quite problematic.

Or is it the case that we see ourselves with rose colored glasses and aren't who we think.

Or maybe, we have an entirely different person who lives hidden inside our head like Athena in Zeus' head, ready to spring out fully formed, any time.

Just tantalizing us with glimpses but never truly revealing themselves either to us or others.

It's quite fascinating and a little bit spooky - I wonder if that person would look like us as well?

32 comments:

Greg said...

It is our actions that define who we are. Most people have problems imagining that everyone thinks basically the same kind of thoughts. What defines us is how we actualize those thoughts. Intentions mean nothing.

Understanding that and accepting it makes life a bit easier. Granted maybe every thought hasn't crossed everyone's mind yet. But a lot of the same kind of things do.

Some time in your life you will probably think about some "bad" stuff like killing someone, or killing yourself, or my favorite, acting on passion alone. Or you may think about how ugly war is, or how sorry you are for poor people, or how you'd like to help someone. Those thoughts are dreams. It is only when they actualize themselves into action that they define you.

Eventually when a thought becomes strong enough it will actualize itself, but maybe not directly. I believe much psychosis manifests when a person cannot reconcile their inner thoughts to their outer actions. The extreme cases occur when these inner thoughts bust out and the person still cannot reconcile these.

So that person you see doing those things is you. If you don't like her do some other things. Thinking alone doesn't change who you are. You can either accept that the one acting is you, or actualize someone different.

Blogs are a great example of this. I've read many blogs of people writing about horrible things and readers pat them on the head or praise them. But I question how these people would react when faced with the writer directly. When they see the writer "do" those things. Compare what bloggers write in comments to others versus what they preach on their own blogs. Often they don't match. The opposite is true also. People what to act in a certain why, but when they experience their actions explained in words or thought, it is ugly to them. The one who wrote or thought it is ugly to them.

Blogging is easy because who we are is missing. Yes maybe the words match the actions behind those words. But blogging itself is an action, so maybe we are not completely missing. Thinking is an action itself so maybe there is some truth in there. The part that is truth, I believe, will eventually manifest itself into action—not tomorrow, but today and yesterday.

meleah rebeccah said...

""I have now reached the conclusion that what I think of me might not be what others see me as".

well, I have been told by family members and friends of mine...

"If ONLY you would see yourself as WE see you..."

I supposed thats because I still see myself as I was 5 years ago, and I don't always recognize the changes I have made, and they (as an outsider) see the changes in me all the time.

I know I don't see myself the way others see me. I wish I could change my perception of myself, and I am in the middle of working on that.

HollyGL said...

I believe that we are many people, and who we are at any given time changes to some degree with our life experiences, as well as the circumstances in which we find ourselves. I do think our core nature remains pretty much the same, but we are - hopefully and ideally - evolving beings, so its tough to quantify ourselves in a precise way.

Bill Luby said...

Excellent post, RM.

The complex analytical person that lurks beneath a gregarious, happy go lucky exterior will usually stump most people.

In the end, I think we are facets and layers. Some people whose lives gently intersect ours will see only one or two facets and probably very little that lies beneath the surface. Only our closest friends and most insightful acquaintances will be able to see many of those facets -- including quite a few that are often diametrically opposed. In an age where stereotypes, shoe boxes and other character shorthand make it easier to categorize people and file them away accordingly, many facets and layers will go unnoticed. Many others will continue to lie dormant, Athena-like, while you consider whether or not to unwrap them or wait for a more appropriate time and place to do so.

A quick anecdote: one time on an 8th grade field trip, I ended up sitting next to a classmate who had a very simplistic stereotype of me in her head. Inside, I was quietly offended and decided to address the situation by 'confiding' in her that I had a multiple personality disorder I had been keeping under wraps. Of course, she didn't believe me, so for the remainder of the two hours or so on the bus I trotted out about a dozen or so of my 'facets' dressed them up in outrageous costumes, shut off my mind to all the other facets for the time being, and pulled off the best acting performance of my life. It was surprisingly easy...all because it wasn't really acting, it was just turning on one eccentric facet and dimming all others for awhile.

Later on, I attempted to explain that I was just kidding around, but that turned out to be quite a task...

Getting back to unborn Athenas, I think we do some choosing of which ones to bring to life, but circumstances and other factors determine some of the others that are. To extend this idea, there are probably some unborn Athenas that have not yet been conceived.

I enjoy the blog and I'm guessing that it provides an outlet for some of those otherwise overlooked facets. Keep them coming!

kellypea said...

The idea of seeing ourselves differently than others do has always interested me. We look in the mirror and see a person who doesn't exactly resemble the image our mind has created. But hearing what others believe about me always teaches me something. My actions perpetuate their feedback.

But what if I'm focused on doing the right thing so others will notice. My actions suggest that my intentions are worthy of praise, but I'm only going throught the motions to garner attention.

I try to focus on what's right. On what matters. It gets an interesting reaction from those who have decided they "know" me. That disturbs me.

Ricardo said...

These are very interesting points actually. Sometimes we cut ourselves off at the knees by seeing ourselves as something we aren't or someone less than our potential. I think sometimes it's also very difficult to accept someone else's observations if they are in contrast to how we see ourselves. They could be positive or negative but no matter what they seem unbelievable. We think we couldn't possibly be those things but at that moment, maybe we were. It's something that you can wrestle with all day.

I believe that another side of you is beginning to emerge that is the outgoing and gregarious side. You have mentioned before that blogging has helped in this respect.

We are complicated beings for sure. Sometimes I wish there was an instruction manual.

Ricardo said...

And I would like to add that I will smother Meleah with compliments on my blog in an effort to get her to see how great she is.

The Real Mother Hen said...

This is interesting.
Now, after knowing you, your nature, your emotional stage (ie wanting to be alone with a good book) - would you accept my invitation to meet me at the mall today if I were to call you? Would you be joking and laughing with me? Or would you simply have an emotional meltdown before me?

I suspect both of us will be having a jolly good time when we meet, irregardless of our true natures, or our emotional stage at that time.

Knowingly/unknowingly, we constantly create "unique" impressions because we put the needs of others before us. And that's really who we are.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A fascinating post that gives a lot of thought.

insanity-suits-me (Dawn) said...

ok... just a thought... but if you looked at it from an astrological point of view...

Your sun sign is the part of you that others see, however the moon sign is the part of you that you see. The moon stands for emotions, instincts and the unconscious. Your moon personality is the one you keep hidden. You may want to compare your sun sign to your moon sign...

"Wolfgang" said...

I think that we tend to play to our audience. I have noticed that when I am at a family gathering with my New Jersey relatives, my speech patterns and accent are for more like theirs than my normal speech. The "Joisey" in me comes out totally unconsciously. By the same token, when I am speaking to native South Carolinians, my speech changes to reflect the prevalent patterns. We adapt to the changing social situation.

Now, I tend to be extremely critical of myself. As I've said, I don't inspire much middle ground in others. I am not my greatest fan, and often tend to agree more with my critics than my supporters. I know it's not healthy and I am trying to overcome it, but it's difficult to change such ingrained views and habits.

I have a couple of friends I say that to often, "I wish you could see yourself as I see you." I've even heard that line myself. It could be a nice thing somtimes to see ourselves as someone else sees us... depends on the person.

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Random,
Bush the person may not be 'respected' by many, but his current position as President of the US commands respect.

Bush may not be publicly 'loved' by some, but I'm sure even he has a close inner circle - of those who like him and those who like him not.

But yes, there's a difference between the opinion or impression others have of us, and who we think or know ourselves to be.

You might argue that you know you are not much of a sociable or socialite person.
I could argue, you 'think' you are not sociable & outgoing, but your smile and your eyes betray your happier YOU. And of course we all have good days and we all have bad

But the opinion of others is subjective - imagine if they meet you at a public function on the arm of a sheikh wearing a tiara, or they meet you at the same function in a waitress dress serving canapes. All sorts of artificial social hierarchy and or barriers kick in, of course there will always be Cinderella stories
or Julia Roberts in pretty woman.

But first impressions always count. And I don't mean first impression of how you are dressed today, or how our meeting goes - but first impressions on the circumstances of our meeting. Whether it be an interview for a job, whether it be in a car showroom where you are about to splash out, whether it be at a friends wedding or engagement party

But if you are trying to discover who you are, you are who you want to be regardless of what others think. You have total control over what you think of yourself, but little control over what others may think - and of course what others may think of us affects us, whether its our mother, our father, our brother or our lover

the domestic minx said...

This is a subject that continually fascinates me...
We are complex creatures, multi faceted, often unpredictable...
While I confess to "knowing myself", I constantly surprise myself too..and others too.
It is not always as simple as "What you see is what you get."
Often it is what you don't see that is much more significant...

Titania Starlight said...

My head is spinning at all the possible answers. I will keep my thoughts shot and sweet.
We all wear so many masks. Changing them to according what we want to project. All the masks are all a part of the whole person that we are.

I know I consciously change masks for strangers. I am a bit of an empath and can feel out others. I am pretty good and knowing how to behave according to aura they are projecting. Am I reading the total person or just that mask at that moment? Okay I shall stop. My head is spinning. Just kidding. :o)

Your post are so thought provoking.

paisley said...

each of us wears a coat of many colors... it is a necessity of civilized society. those that choose not to are in most instances, outcast, or ill thought of...

i think this is precisely why it is so difficult to enter into a relationship,,, as they see pieces of you,, that ordinarily you would preserve only for your own viewing... and visa versa....

Loz said...

Imagine the masks we wear are all transparent but slightly different. Only placing them all one on top of the other so every slight blemish or rosy cheek is revealed in all it's glory will we see the whole person. For most of us there are very few who do know every mask.

Random Magus said...

greg: What we think and what goes in our head also defines us as translated through what we say. Right? I mean talking & writing are both action. Like you wrote, sometimes there is a divide between what one writes somewhere as a comment and what one writes in their blog. So I want to know are both those parts of oneself? To me intentions do matter maybe not as much as actions but they do count!

Meleah: In somethings I have an overestimated opinion of myself and others a seriously underestimated one.

HollyGL: I know and as you grow older you discover a few more complications. There are so many layers to go through and we operate differently at all of them

bill luby: Hi and thanks for stopping by. My husband often tells me I'm 5 different people that he can count. Although I'm better now. You're right.. people who meet us once get the opportunity to see one facet or so and the ones who know us are familiar with almost all. They get to see us when our defenses are down, when we are being nasty and showing the other side which we normally keep hidden from people we don't know that well.

Kellypea: This happens to me as well. But I think sometimes there are some facets to ourselves that we either don't see or bury deeply because they maybe against some 'ideal' self we visualize in our head

ricardo: Hey that's so cool I always say that. Life should come with an instruction manual!

Random Magus said...

The Real Mother Hen:
You know I kept thinking of your comment and I would meet you at the Mall and have a great time as well. I wouldn't have an emotional meltdown because I can be quite a bit of a control freak and don't know know how to open up to people on a deeper level. A bit stunted that way!

Jean-Luc Picard: Thanks

Insanity-suits-me: I love astrology - my moon, venus and a couple of others are in Scorpio. Sun's Libra [October 20] and ascendant is Aries/Pisces.

"Wolfgang": I've noticed this mirroring as well. We do play to an audience - as if we switch to auto pilot and just go with the flow. It's weird sometimes a part of me can actually critically evaluate what I'm doing its crazy.

Quasar9: I guess we constrict what we can be by thinking what we are not. Our false evaluation of ourself stops us from trying anything new because its accompanied by a self fulfilling prophecy of failure.

the domestic minx: Absolutely. I think the things we hide are the ones that we identify as the core of 'us' and feel very apprehensive about revealing it to others. People who live with us do get to see, although we hide it from ourselves as well.

titania: I too find myself changing my tone and behavior with others, I adept to their moods and that's what disturbs me. The intention is to make the other person comfortable but the scare is on the realization that what if there is no definite 'me'.

paisley: So if they said something to you about yourself and you didn't believe it who would be correct? Or would it just be a perspective?

Loz: And sometimes I think so do we.

QUASAR9 said...

paisley: So if they said something to you about yourself and you didn't believe it who would be correct? Or would it just be a perspective?

Random, I'm sure paisley will answer that one, but here's my tuppence worth.

You can tell someone they are beautiful, but if they don't feel beautiful or good about themselves
That doesn't necessarily change the fact they ARE beautiful, though beauty itself is relative and subjective

Equally children (or grown ups behaving like children) can tell another person they are as ugly as they come - but if the person doesn't feel ugly then who cares what those hurling insults think.

Of course in the real world, words can be hurtful, and bring people's confidence crashing down.

And yet further (and I'm still being physical or superficial). An anaeroxic may 'think' she is fat and 'see' herself as fat - though she may clearly not be fat to the rest of us. And a large person continues to be large, no matter what she thinks. Her dress size sort of gives it all away.

When it comes to confidence, it is clear that some people who have been encouraged (and even spoilt)by family when growing up, will have an ease of confidence
bar exceptions t the rule
Whereas others who have grown up in households either been shouted at or rejected or repeatedly told they'll amount to nothing, will lack that confidence
bar exceptions to the rule, those who despite all the odds strive to succeed

But the more I look at you, the harder it is to fathom why some with great beauty are more introvert, and some with less beauty are more extrovert or outgoing.
Clearly it is the inner self rules

So bring out the Inner Self in you
Well you are (sort of) on this blog
Have fun this weekend whatever you do

Greg said...

Random Magus,

The consideration of intention is a big issue. It comes up in law quite a bit. There are different penalties in the U.S. code based on intent. So my own legal system doesn’t agree with me (this is a future post also, but I’m not quite there yet).

As harsh as the implication, I believe intention is very insignificant and doesn't count.

The question of how does speaking and writing figure into self-identification is interesting. What we say and what we write specifically are similar to intention, the content is not important from a who we are perspective.

What is important is the actual action of speaking or writing. The action and the content are often confused or thought of the same thing, but they are distinct.

If one person is bullying another and you intercede and say something, it is the action of speaking up that defines you, not the specifics of what is said. This is similar to our discussion on what art is—that the real meaning is what the art guides you to or points to, not so much the content of the art.

This is the same with writing. If you write to someone, like a government or business leader, to intercede on something. In these cases speaking and writing are surrogates for action. They signify a willingness to act. This could be lost if the person is not willing to back up his/her words with further action and those words turn back into meaningless intent.

As a general response I would say, no intent, or talk, or writing doesn't capture a person's self. Only the actions. Intent is wishful thinking, we have to look at our history of action to say who we are.

I may be a writer because I write, but that is not to say that who I am is inside my writing (in the content). It is possible I'm in there, but you would have to compare the words to my actual past actions to make a real conclusion.

Think of a priest who acts against the principles of his religion. Who is that person? He intends to be a priest by wearing the costume. And what he says is priestly. But if he abuses children, takes advantage of others, and steals, does his intent still make him a priest? (Assuming these actions are against his religion's tenets.)

Jeff said...

There are no accurate perceptions of us. Others do not get the complete picture and we often shape our own perceptions based on what we want to see or our perceptions get skewed by our own disorders (and I use the term loosely). The only one that knows us truly is He that created us.

Jeff said...

Oops, wrong link associated with my name.

Dumb Ox said...

Genuine communication and understanding takes love. It involves a willingness to be vulnerable. Easily lost. Some cultures don't have it as part of their ideal system, I believe. Tragic, and we know there is much progress to be made in the world on this front. The battlefront of love.

confessing7girl said...

ah girl life isnt all black and white right? so i guess we hv a completely different perception of ourselves ... i guess we put on a mask ...its not like we hv someone else inside out heads its more like we r so many different things at the same time...
And if u r meeting people they will judge u by how happy or unhappy u r feeling at the moment... how outgoing u r sounding and how fun u r!! but they just know that person u r showing them they dont know the real u!!
i agree u should know urself better than anyone else!! at least anyone who u r not so intimate with!! Cause when u really share everything with another person , ur moods, the good and the bad then u start being fully known by someone else, and that someone can even know u better than urself!!
im just babbling!!

Zakman said...

Hi Rans

It's so much easier for me to interact with a total stranger. I can lose my inhibitions and similar stuff in anonymity, and I can take to the skies.

And when that happens to me, I think "awww... is this me!", and I love the 'me.' I can talk to this person so freely cuz I don't have to pretend something I'm not.

But there's a problem when and if I meet the same person again.... I had created an identity for that person to see in myself, and I have to live up to it. That's kinda stressful... or complicated.

Random Magus said...

Greg: So if you have 'bad' thoughts or thoughts of harming someone yet you don't act on them - that will define you won't it?
I can understand what you are saying but I also believe that normally your intentions might stop you from doing something that you might be tempted to... not doing is an action also right? So will that not doing something define me as well? To separate the two seems to me to have a one dimensional picture - having a thought is an experience right - how an that not be part of you? Especially when you have sensed it, thought it?

Jeff: I sometimes wonder if it's a good thing or bad that no one knows us completely not even ourselves. As there are a lot of times we surprise ourselves with our own thoughts as well as gestures

Random Magus said...

Dumb ox: It's difficult to be vulnerable because then you have to be totally dependent on someone else for your happiness. Even when you love someone a lot there may be parts of your nature they might not be aware of, as you said being vulnerable requires a lot of trust.

confessing7girl: I just keep thinking we have different personalities and as the occasion requires it one of them comes on autopilot.
BTW you weren't babbling at all

Zakman: That's the case with me as well - it's refreshing when you meet someone who doesn't know you at all and the canvas is fresh and you can paint whatever you want on it.

Greg said...

Random Magus, the idea of a negation proving the opposite true doesn't follow. People often try to use this type of logic.

I can show this logically by the following example:

1. If (I murder) then (I'm bad).
2. Given that (it is not the case that) (I murder).
3. Therefore (it is not the case that) (I'm bad).

Symbolically we can represent this as:

P = I murder
Q = I'm bad
~ = Not, or "it is not the case"

And translate these three lines to:

1. (P -> Q).
2. ~P.
3. .: ~Q (incorrect conclusion)

This fallacy of logic is so common that there is a common name for it: the fallacy of denying the antecedent.

So by you saying since you don't do P, then that gives us information about Q is not accurate, it's wrong. Just because you don't act, it does not follow that this says something about a previous premise such as "if I kill someone then I am bad."

If you want to consider non-action as a type of action, then we need to consider it as a separate premise. We need to look at the non-action itself as distinct from the action you are avoiding. So all that it says about you is that you don't do anything or are non-responsive.

I could easily say that whatever causes a particular action in a person also causes the thought associated with the action or even preceding the action. Why does an intention need to cause an action any more than any other variable.

Any two people may have the same thought of killing someone. One may act while the other doesn't. The intentions are the same. What is different is the action.

I would go further and state that behavior, and therefore action, is more a result of external forces than internal intentions or thoughts. We can see this by examining a population of people. In that population we should be able to gather statistics on people's actions that will not vary much over generations even though specific people die and new ones are born.

A certain percentage will marry, divorce, kill, become priests, masturbate, become vegans, own dogs, be late for work, get into car accidents, etc. How can these numbers stay fairly consistent if intention defined people?

Random Magus said...

Any two people may have the same thought of killing someone. One may act while the other doesn't. The intentions are the same. What is different is the action.

That is what I am saying as well, an action cannot happen without an intention.
Intentions are directly related to actions in as much as they either stop you from doing something or they propel you. An action cannot be separated from an intention that precedes it.
Our actions may define who we are to other people but our intentions define ourselves to us!
I may be doing all the right things for the wrong motive but I'll be the only one able to know that.
So actions may reveal us to others but to know ourselves we can't leave out our intentions.

Greg said...

Random Magus, we are saying very different things. Just because an intention (or thought) occurs before an action, it does not follow that it caused the action.

Yes, an action can be separated from any intention preceding it. Do you intend to beat your heart? Do you intend to breathe? Do you intend to use a left turn signal when you are making a left turn every time? Do you intend to tie your shoes a certain way?

I realize that it sounds bizarre to suggest that intention does not cause action, but that is exactly what I am saying. There is a relationship between what we intend and how we act, but I would not say it is a causal relationship.

Causality is much more complicated than most people observe. Most of your day you act without really thinking about what you are doing. In the case of my response, I am thinking quite actively about what I am writing, but I may still say things I did not intend, or not say things that I intended to say.

Much of what we call intention is simultaneous observations that occur along side our actions. We are strange creatures in that we edit our memories in order to make sense out of them.

I can change what you quote of me by saying that any two people may not have an intention to kill someone. One does and the other doesn't. An action has occurred without an intention. For example, you hit a child who runs out in front of your car and kill it. Or you get into a fight and hit someone in the nose. In one case the person is killed, in the other case the person just falls down.

Random Magus said...

How I tie my shoes or other unconscious actions are very far apart from how I think or self-introspect. There is a conscious effort behind these actions. Can you say that someone would just give away a million dollars to charity without thinking about it first or intending to do it.
What you describe are our unconscious actions or habits which require no thought.
Today in class I did a questionnaire which talked about where I wanted to be in 5 years and what was stopping me etc etc. I thought about it and then wrote out an action plan with strengths and weaknesses and what was stopping me.
So I would argue that except for things that we do habitually which require no thought most actions require thinking.
Taking your own point could you have written this post without collecting your thoughts or what you wanted to write - could anyone have written what you wrote in exactly the same fashion if everyone has the same thoughts then everyone should write the same thing Most people have problems imagining that everyone thinks basically the same kind of thoughts

Greg said...

Randomness or Chaos Theory accounts more for my uniqueness than any consciousness on my part.

When we talk about thought we move away from action. My point is that action is all that matters. What I or you write here doesn't matter so much as the action we take.

Writing your five year plan doesn't matter, only the actions you take will matter. Thoughts do influence us, but over long periods of time. External actions influence us much more dramatically than any form of thinking or intent.

I do believe that 100 monkeys pounding out comments could come up with what I wrote. The odds of it happening in my lifetime are extremely remote. I'd have better luck winning the lottery 100 million times. But it is still possible, it is due to all the possibilities that I probably wouldn't see it happen.

If I intend on being a writer and you intend on being a writer, then if we believe in intentions defining us, we should both be writers. But that's not how it works. Statistically there will be a finite percentage of the population that become writers. By one of us becoming a writer, that may make it impossible for the other to become a writer. Or the possibility will be denied someone else. How is that possible if intention defines us? Something else moves us to act.

This is just like your intention to swim across a river, but despite your intention, the river sweeps you downstream. You are the person downstream, not the person across the river like you intended.

I won't say anything more than: You can think all you want and intend all you want, but who you are is defined only by the actions you have taken up to this point in your life. That is you. Not what is in your head. What is inside your head is wishful thinking. That goes for each of us.