Knowing Who You Are

Recently I started watching “Westworld,” an amazing HBO series based on a movie and book from the 1970’s, an existential exploration into consciousness—why we are here, my favorite topic. Each episode contains snippets of profound dialogue, and most recently, in episode 3, Anthony Hopkins’ character says (I’m paraphrasing), “People don’t want to know who they are. They already know that. What they want to know is who they will become.” True words.

On some level, even for those of us who are on a path of discovering ourselves, we already know who we are. We know it in our core. But for whatever reason—our upbringing, the culture, our negative minds—we tell ourselves we can’t be that. We tell ourselves we must conform to what we think the world wants us to be. And it’s bullshit.

It reminds me of the time Mom and I were walking around downtown Black Mountain, North Carolina, I think it was, and we stumbled upon this little art shop. A woman, a folk artist, painted all these different little paintings on pieces of wood she’d found, and sold them for something like $25 a piece. Mom took one look at them and said, “Ella,* you could do that.”

I’ve written about it before, so in case you have déjà vu, that’s why. I just like to remember her words. “You could do that.” You can do that.

Here’s the painting Mom picked out, which I now have sitting on a shelf atop a stack of books I have no plans of reading (They’re about food. I’d rather eat than read about eating.):

Of the paintings I made for my boyfriend for Christmas (one of which is at the top of this post), he said, “I’d pay money for these.” Who knows? Maybe I’ll sell some on Etsy. Why not?

Originally I’d thought I’d wait until I fine-tuned my craft more… but can’t I just do that as I go? The worst that could happen is that no one buys them. It’s worth a shot.

*Not my real name. One of these days I might include my real name on this blog, but not today.


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