Multitudes

From a review I just read of Just One Day by Gayle Forman:

Just One Day is about playing roles and choosing personas and what makes us us; about figuring out who we are; and about realizing that while we are different people depending on the situation/audience, we are also all of those people at the same time.

I’m reading the book now and quite enjoying it. I’m re-posting this quote, though, because I find the concept absolutely fascinating and true. I think, to a degree, we ARE many different types of people (or, as Whitman would say it, “we contain multitudes“) depending on the situation and who we’re with. For me, this was most obvious leading up to my wedding. There’s an “I’m with my parents” Lauren who knows that whatever she does, they’ve seen worse; an “I’m with my best friend” Lauren who’s most comfortable, most content being silly and stupid and cuddly; an “I’m impressing my new family” Lauren who refrains from doing many of the things she does with her best friend. And these many Laurens all had to be in the same place at the same time and please everyone. And that really kind of freaked me out.

But without any thought, I became just Lauren the day of the wedding. I was giggly with my friends, respectful with new family, eye-rolly with my family. And I realized that if I didn’t appease everyone, they didn’t know me. If they really knew me, they would have already seen bits and pieces of these other Laurens coming out. Because, yes, we may contain multitudes, but we are all of those people all of the time.