We are all influenced by what everyone else says or does. We’re constantly looking for social acceptance and a feeling of place. I think a lot of what we say and do, how we act is shaped by our perception of other people’s views of us. Our perceptions may not be the same as how people actually perceive us but our perception of their views is what really shapes who and what we become.
I think a lot what shapes Gogol, in Jumpa Lahrir’s The Namesake, is his perception of the views of others. I feel as though he’s afraid, afraid of not being American, afraid of not being socially accepted, afraid of being rejected. I realized that he rejects a lot of his beliefs and certain aspects of his life simply because he feels that others would find it different or strange.
I realized that I’ve also been obsessing over other people’s views. More specifically, views of my work. Every time I sit in front of my laptop telling myself I’m finally going to blog today, I find myself hitting the “save draft” button only because I feel too scared to hit that “Publish” button. I find it hard to put my thoughts and feelings out there, public for everyone to read. I find the thought daunting that complete strangers from anywhere around the world would be able to read my thoughts and feelings. What if what I say makes no sense? What if my thoughts are somehow wrong? It’s now I realize, it doesn’t matter. My thoughts are my own, and though there’s a chance I might be alone in my opinion, it’s still my own.