How Honest Can You Be?

I watched the Confession of a Go Go Girl last night. It is a story about this girl who started go-go dancing in order to make ends meet, but most lost herself in the “easy money” job and jeopardized her relationship with her family, boyfriend, her acting career, and most importantly, her true self. She managed to get back to her acting classes toward the end of the movie and I want to share this simple but astonishing monologue she did on stage: 

I lied to everyone about everything, expect me.
I say I’m not tired when I am, I say I’m hungry when I’m not, I tell people what they want to hear and never say what I am actually feeling.
I let the lies pile up, like bricks on a wall until I can’t see out and no one else can see in.
I make a plan to escape, I become someone else; Put on a disguise and I climb over the wall and no one recognizes me.
I feel powerful. I can get people to do what I want them to do.
But I go to far. I get lost and I don’t recognize myself.
Take off the disguise, I give away the power.
I give up the control, I retrace my steps, go back to the wall and I take it down brick by brick, I bury them to mark the place.
I strip away all the lies, until there are none left.
I remember the girl I left behind. I claim the confidence i was missing.
I envision the women I want to be, tell everyone the truth about everything, especially you.

 

I have been reading Penelope Trunk’s blog for a while and I have recommended her articles to many of my friends. She is insanely honest and extremely sharing with her insightful and practical advices on networking, job hunting, career and life in general.

How to decide how much to tell about yourself on your blog was among the very first few articles I read about her and I was stunned, but the more I read into her writings the more I came to understand why she could be so successful as a blogger, a woman, and a careerist. Because she dares to put herself out there; she dares to take risks to explore around in order to find her true desire and strengths; and most importantly she admits and accepts her failures (or anything bad that ever happened to her), be cool about it, and then just moves on.

Boys used to hate me in elementary school, or at least they appeared to be, because I report to the teacher. I didn’t see this as a problem because I always got the top scores anyway, until one day someone started throwing snowballs at me and many other boys joined him.

My first year in middle school was just okay. My school was again pretty dominated by guys and only those who play basketball liked me because I always go cheer for them when they are playing against other classes. Then one day my head teacher called me to her office and told me some guys didn’t like me that much because they thought I was selfish. I was shocked, but more than shocked I was confused. I asked my teacher why would they think that way and my teacher replied I don’t know either but it seems to them that being the team leader, you don’t do enough cleaning work when your team is assigned to be on duty.

Oh I see. It was clearly a false claim to me but for a moment I didn’t know how to tackle it. It was toward the end of the semester and then suddenly an idea naturally came to me. We write self-analysis report every semester in which we summarize our performance on a bunch of things, and we are supposed to read it out loud to the entire class the last day at school, every word. That semester, besides commenting on my studies, my dancing, cheerleading, meeting hosting and a bunch of other activities, I commented:  

It seems some of you thought I was selfish, I am not sure where you draw this conclusion from but I don’t think this is true about me. In my team I have assigned the work according to gender, height and the workload. The work I assigned to myself is by no means easier or less time consuming than any other work that other people are assigned to. For the sole purpose of effective allocation, I think it’s most efficient for me to do this piece of work because I think everyone else is doing great and is the most suitable person for every other job. If anyone still thinks I am selfish simply because I used my judgment to better use everyone’s time, please let me know and I am more than happy to exchange my job with you if that will make more sense to you.

Yes I read these words out loud to my entire class (in Chinese of course), and there is no surprise that everyone else, including the teacher, was stunned. However what went beyond my expectation was that I became the most popular kid in the class, especially among guys. Was it because I was being logical and I honestly played a powerful defense? I highly doubt that. I think it was simply because I even dare to talk about these things in public, to reveal the fact that some people pointed out that I was selfish.

Most people will downplay anything remotely negative to their image. It is probably highly unnecessary. When Ellen finally revealed that she was gay, yes she lost her job, but it opened up many new windows and eventually a completely refreshed and relieved world to her. Come to think about it, it’s not even that hard.

Be honest, and set yourself free. Good luck~~~~~

 

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  1. Shirley
    September 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    It seems that this kind of problem is more common in Eastern culture than in Western culture. When I was in my middle school, I cared much about how other people thought of me. But it turned out that nothing changed except a tired me. I have some similar experience with you,haha. Actually it’s interesting to recall some awkward moments in childhood. The feeling is almost unspoken.It goes like that’s how I grow up.The last sentence makes me think of Michelle Phan. Good luck~haha~

    • October 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm

      Yes culture has definitely played a part, but then it’s personality and what you really want for yourself. I’m sure there are super conservative people who will always only follow what everyone else is doing even in a very open culture; and there are innovative and bold poeple who will lead their own ways even if they have to break the rules. Ultimately you’re your own judge. Other people judge too but the less you care, the bigger you are as a human being.

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