SHOT BY MICHAELA TORNARITIS
Hello! This week I’ve been contemplating ego quite a bit, mainly because I became re-obsessed with the song Beyonce – Ego (Remix). Yes, the song isn’t exactly thought-provoking, so an in-depth analysis of my relationship with ego arising off the back of it seems questionable, right? Wrong. Beyoncé is Beyoncé, OK? OK. Stop asking me questions in your head. And yes, I will make a disproportionate amount of Beyoncé references in this piece, because Beyoncé.
Ego pretty simply is your sense of self. Your opinion of yourself, that is in part conscious, and in part subconscious. In my less than favourable moments, i.e. when my emotions cloud my more open and understanding nature, I tend use it to describe (read: judge) others, in a negative way. I.e. “He can’t see past his ego, what a ****”. or “He’s such a egotistical ****”. or “Drop your ego at the door you ****”. (As I said, less than favourable.) Ranting about the disasters of having an inflated sense of self, and an ego the size of a football stadium is a topic for another week. I’ve more been pondering on how I view myself in general, and whether it accurately reflects how I behave, or whether it’s just my ego is running wild.
And as it so turns out, my ego likes to get carried away with itself. My opinion of what makes me, me, and my actions often come apart in more ways than one. The most notable way is that, on the one hand, I like to believe that I am someone who cares for others and their wellbeing, and that I do what I can to ensure that I am their fairy god mother, and that their wish is my command. And at times, I am, and they are. (Ego says: Don’t @ me) But on the other hand, my actions suggest otherwise, because unintentionally my drive/desire to be productive and ‘do me’ infringes upon any supposed altruism that I believe myself to possess. I’m basically driving in the rain with faulty wind-screen wipers. I am therefore focused with an unwavering commitment on what is immediately in front of me, as I can barely see anything with certainty, and do not want to crash. Who want’s to crash?! As a result, I fail to see the fact that I am inadvertently skipping multiple stop signs, and drifting out of my lane causing others to swerve out of my way, all whilst completely ignoring the national speed limit.
Selfish is the word people close to me have used to flag up this undesirable trait of mine. (Ego: Personally, I think selfish is a bit too harsh. There is no ill-intent. I am a sassy unicorn.) But, to be honest, at times I have moment’s when I think *I ain’t sorry*. It’s all about *Me, Myself and I*, because *If I Were a Boy* you would not be telling me to slow down, and you wouldn’t be calling me selfish. Rather you would be praising me for my dogged commitment to a goal, and telling me to *use that arrogance as steam, to power my dream*. But luckily, these thoughts are fleeting. I’m not trying to bulldoze everyone and everything on my path to the achievement of anything. But I am, and always will include obnoxious references to Beyonce songs, wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, and whoever I’m with.
I guess the wonderful thing about this awareness is that the rose-tinted view of myself that my ego has created isn’t all-together in control. I’m aware of the fact that I’m not the sassy fairy godmother that I like to believe I am, so that’s a start, right? Ego – 0, Shope – 1. As much as possible, I consciously choose to leave my ego at the door every morning before I step out into the big, wide world. Besides, when I let my ego run wild, it’s recipe for disaster. Although at times it makes me feel invincible, i.e. when I found out I graduated with a first class honours last week and my ego grew to the size of football pitch for a solid 24 hours, (Ego: *pew pew* I’m a #firstclassbitch), more often than not, my ego isn’t really cut out for leadership.
This comes down to the fact that my ego is very fragile, tentative, and frankly terrified of the dominant creative ones it see’s scooting around with their paint-brushes, musical instruments, and old-school type-writers. (Current mental image: colourful disembodied ego’s, spherical in shape, scooting around on skateboards, each holding a unique creative utensil, each with an east-london sartorial accent, be it a fedora, roll-up cigarette, or a drop-crotch jogging bottom). My ego used to write a funny story for what it was to be, Shope. It led to an inflated sense of self, but not in the typical Kanye West type of way. It was attached to my physical appearance, and would grow legs and arms and edges each time one of these fedora-wearing individuals gave it a compliment. Shope – or my ‘sense’ of Shope’ was fuelled by having my appearance validated. Person: You look cute! My brain: Shope = cute. But my ego was a flaky, unsure little bugger, who can be likened to the kind of person who spends hours choosing what to order in Nando’s, just to end up ordering what everyone else is ordering. I desired and sought out validation from others, and even then, I couldn’t wholly be ‘myself’. My ego just kind of fails at being an ego. Does this make any sense?
So because of this, I always try to leave my ego at the door. The rose-tinted perception of myself that it fuels (sassy fairy god-mother), has been proven false. It’s therefore of little help to me, and only provides short-lived bursts of worthiness (re: first class) before withering away into a pool of comparison and inadequacy, searching for it’s next hit. As Beyonce said: It’s toooooooooo big. It’s toooooo wide. It’s toooooo strong, It won’t fit. It’s tooooooo much, it’s toooooo tough. It won’t fit through the door, Shope! Leave it out – don’t let it dictate how you navigate throughout the world. What’s your relationship with ego?
(I’m 99.9% sure throughout this entire piece, the manner in which I describe ego, and my relationship to it, isn’t exactly accurate w/ regards to what the ‘ego’ actually is. I think I use it loosely to mean ‘perception of self’. But hey ho. Here’s a better video about ego, that I watched after writing this, and was like ohhhhhhhhhhhh. ).