Be Nice It's Tuesday


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Do I know you?

At the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam there is a video of Otto Frank, Anne’s father, talking about reading her diary for the first time. I can’t remember the exact quote, but he speaks of how surprised he was. He thought they were quite close, but there were so many thoughts and views she had written in her diary which he had no idea about. He comes to the conclusion that no parent really knows their child.
This came back to me recently, and I’d say I agree with it. In fact, I’d go further than that and say that no two people ever really know each other. Yes, you can know a lot about someone else, what they like or don’t like, how they’re likely to act or respond to something, but even that has limits. There are people I’ve known well for a long time, I know their siblings and parents, I’ve been inside their houses, but I still can’t imagine how they live their lives there, with each other. I can’t imagine what my parents were like when they were younger. I know they love each other, and me and my sisters, but I can’t imagine how they actually feel. I’m often surprised when my sisters, who I feel I know very well, talk about things they’ve been thinking about, which I wouldn’t have expected, or maybe I just never considered that they’d be having some similar deep thoughts to me.
I keep a diary, but even in there I have trouble opening up and being completely honest, it’s more narrative than emotive. I write this blog, but I think about what image of myself I want to send to the world. I don’t think even the people who know me best really know what’s going on inside my head. I’m not actually sure I always understand my own thoughts. I often think it would be interesting if someone could follow me around for a month or longer, see everything I do, hear everything I say, read everything I write. What would their impression of me be? Would it match up to my own ideas about myself?
I’m writing this because, as already implied, I find it hard to open up to people, or talk about things which really affect me emotionally. I’m constantly trying to get better at this, and I feel I have been making progress, although I currently seem to be being very honest with people I don’t know very well, but still clamming up when it comes to my close friends or family. I also often think how much easier it would be if there were certain things about which people could just understand each other, without needing explanation. For instance how you’re feeling one day, or your really feelings for other people. But it struck me today that no one really knows what’s going on in other people’s heads ( I phrase it like this because saying thoughts sounds much too simplified).
I don’t know, maybe it is possible to find someone who you one day really will know, but until that happens to me, I think I shall have to conclude that no one really knows anyone, other than possibly themselves, and we just have to try and be as honest as we can.

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