In each of us there is another whom we do not know.
– Carl G. Jung
Carl G. Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He founded analytical (or Jungian) psychology which emphasizes our quest for wholeness and holds that dreams and the unconscious mind offer insight into our true selves. With that in mind, the above quote in fuller context is thus: “In each of us there is another whom we do not know. He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from the way we see ourselves.”
I was quoting psychologists before I became truly passionate about the field. Never did I imagine I would be pursuing a PhD delving into the heads of others.
I say this because currently my source of quotes for this personal task is an old journal from (oh dear god) over 20 years ago. I sometimes forget that I’m old enough to have a “20 years ago”. This is still new to me. There are many journals. Many musings, lyrics, poems, you name it I tried to write it. This particular Black n’ Red Ruled A5 (still with the faded “3 for the price of 2” sticker clinging for dear life) isn’t the oldest. Dare I go back and read about flybys of helicopters over the middle school in Kuwait? Another time perhaps.
I chose this quote and accompanying photograph today because there is currently an assignment on National Geographic’s Your Shot titled Reflections. In my hunt for old photographs for this new series and to see if I had anything worth submitting before embarking on another shooting adventure, I came across a “selfie” from before the days of selfies. A self-portrait of sorts only a few years whisper away from the days of the “Myspace profile picture.” The assignment and my discovery reminded me of a recent entry. In a post I made just last month about creativity, medication, and depression, I reflected briefly on the occasional disconnect with the person in the mirror (see the post here). How much can or do we see in our reflections? Do we ever see all, or the whole of ourselves? Are dreams not reflections?
In this particular photograph, I was searching. I remember being heartbreakingly in love and separated by an ocean as I pursued my music career in Nashville while he waited tables, volunteered, and cycled his way through life in London. I had been crying and all these years later, I honestly couldn’t tell you why but at the time it was important. It’s always important when you’re young, in love, struggling, an artist… It’s important when you’re none of those things. At the time, documentation of my solemnly determined swollen eyes after a jag was seemingly warranted. I questioned so much then. I question so much now. A particular wonder is always who the person was that brought me to the moment I find myself in and is she the same now as she was then. So for my Reflections assignment, I chose a moment of reflection in a mirror. But really, I’ve just always liked the appearance that I’m about to give myself a talking to with great definitive resolve.