Saturday, 12 July 2014

When will my reflection show who I am inside. . .

When I first watched Disney's "Mulan" I didn't think at the time how much of an effect the song Reflection would have on me.  This track in my Spotify playlist "ManuScript" is taken directly from the movie version performed by Lea Salonga.

At the time, the sentiments of the song resonated with me, especially the part about playing a role that people expected me to play.  In some instances it was me trying to please everybody around me and making me think quite critically (and reflectively) about what people wanted me to do to make their lives better, at most likely the expense of me living my own life.

In Pasifika circles - these ideas sound selfish, self-centred and egotistical, because social norms in Pasifika circles dictate (actively promote is probably a better turn of phrase) that whatever actions, thoughts and words we say, do and feel - are representative of who we represent.

Look at me 
I will never pass for a perfect bride
Or the perfect daughter
Can it be 
I'm not meant to play this part?

The ideas that we have these defined roles based on the nature of our relationships - who we are to people - how we are connected - and the expectations at which we meet said roles, is an ongoing daily demand of our living.  Mulan understands the huge pressure of trying to be someone that she isn't - the type of girl that can be a wife for someone, or a child that brings honour to her family.

Now I see 
That if I were truly to be myself
I would break my family's heart

The idea that you can't live up to your family's expectation is not a new theme in today's society or in cultures alike.  The idea that your parents always want the best for you and may have even planned our your future for you right down to the details of you taking on the family business or profession - whether you have been consulted or not - have often been the cause of family disagreements and even estrangement.

Who is that girl I see?
Staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection someone I don't know?

The realisation point when you finally admit to yourself that even though you dress up in the roles that have been defined for you - it doesn't truly feed your soul, your passion, nowhere near transforming your state of being from existing to living - this is when you can't reconcile what and how you are thinking - with the way that you look.  You want your outside to match your inside.  But more importantly - you want the world around you - both local and global - to see you and know you - for what you have chosen to be.

Somehow I cannot hide, who I am, though I've tried
When will my reflection show who I am inside?
When will my reflection show who I am inside?

Moral of the story:  Once you are comfortable in your skin - once your outside has matched your inside - only you will be able to "own" who you are.  The outside will automatically reflect the inside that you have always been, but people have failed to see.  I hope people will be able to see the real you - no need to hide anymore.