Sunday, 5 October 2014

Thought For The Day: Grayson Perry

When I hear anyone proffer the advice, “Just be yourself,” I cringe. It sounds so simple, but do they really know what grand task they have assigned to their hapless protégé? When I had psychotherapy a decade or so ago, there were two big questions that seemed to shriek inside me. The first was, “What do I want?” — a tricky enough question when faced with the menu at the local Indian restaurant, but when applied to a whole life, much harder to answer. What sort of relationships, career, possessions, pastimes will make me content and feel fulfilled?

The second, perhaps even more difficult question, was, “Who am I?” To answer it we could just refer to our passports. But the softer, more fluid sense of self remains very difficult to talk about in concrete terms. Our identity is a narrative we tell ourselves — a story that is constantly being edited, influenced. The power of these internal narratives is that they are, on the whole, unconscious. It is good, though, to be aware of them and ask: are they working for us? After all, we only get to perform a life once...

The sublime Grayson Perry writing in The Sunday Times.

No apologies for doing the eminently quotable Mr Perry again so soon, you might have to put up with one of these everyday for the foreseeable.

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