Dangerous Thoughts | The Stories We Tell Ourselves About Our Selves

Annija Muižule

I recently happened upon a post on my sweet cousin, Katheryn’s blog, Good Life Road, in which she talks about her “ideal self”, a concept I’m sure most people are familiar with. An ideal self is the you that you wish you were. It’s all the best parts of yourself and all the things you wish you were and none of the bad ones. It’s the person you thought you would be when you were five. It’s the girl you imagine yourself to be when you’re feeling particularly pretty or clever or powerful.

I write about this person sometimes in my journal, a third person account of my idealized future self. I have entries as far back as my early teens describing this person. Anecdotes of what she is doing, somewhere in the future as she goes about her day, how she keeps her hair or what her apartment looks like. It’s funny, because this girl, this woman I’ve invented who I hope I look like someday, well, she still looks incredibly similar to the woman I imagined I would be when I was a teenager.


She’s strong and smart, independent and charming. She is the kind of woman you would want to be friends with, the sort of person people enjoy talking to and being around because she radiates warmth and positivity and reminds them of their own potential and beauty. She takes care of herself, eats well, exercises, dresses in a way that is uniquely hers. She does her own thing, and though she has many close friends, she is often on her own. She likes it this way as it gives her time to think, which she does entirely too much, some might say.

Her mind is constantly abuzz with ideas, thoughts, little snippets of stories she is going to tell one day. She can be a bit dreamy, but when she brings her awareness down from those swirling clouds of imagination, she can be unnervingly observant. She spends a great deal of time wandering, taking photos and journaling in cafes, scribbling down these thoughts and observations. She draws well enough and sometimes in the margins of her notebooks are the faces of the people around her, the people inside her head. There are moments she is as clear to me as my own reflection, and I love her and I want to be her so badly… Sometimes I think that I’m getting there…and other times I’m filled with the dread that she is nothing more than a fiction in my head. An unattainable illusion that I’ve created to comfort or torture myself with.


Is it weird that I envision myself like that? Like a character in a story I am writing? I don’t think that She is me at this point in my life, but it’s who I would like to be, who I hope to be someday soon. I suppose She is the person I hope others perceive me to be. I hope to be the sort of person you might describe in that way. Maybe it’s a part of that whole manifestation thing I’ve always sort of adhered too. If I will it, it will be; so to speak. I’ve always sort of had this secondhand narration of my life going on in my head anyways, a strange sense of watching myself from another persons perspective. I suppose it’s the wannabe film star in me that does this, or perhaps the writer, or maybe it’s my own weird brand of narcissism…or it could be the early symptoms of schizophrenia. It might be all four. Either way, I firmly believe every good story needs solid narration, and maybe if I can explain it eloquently enough my life will be the epic adventure I wish it to be.

Does anyone else out there do this? I think it might be more common than I realize, especially in this era of blogging and social media. We are constantly narrating our own story in a digital format, through Instagram posts and Twitter updates, whose to say we’re not all doing it internally as well? The stories we tell to ourselves, about our selves are ultimately the identity we hold, right? So maybe it’s good that I see my future self as this wonderful, warm, happy and well balanced person…because maybe if I keep seeing it that way, that is how it will be.

Images via Annija MuižuleLaura Leal and Tara Niami

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