However you did not state that as a certainty. The notion of how someone presents themselves, to how they think they are is one I've ruminated on for a long long while. Part of my self-indulgent whinging comes from the fact that I was never able to delude myself into an image of anything more than I appeared to be, meaning that I found it hard to either big myself up more or downplay myself less than evidence would suggest. And the evidence would suggest that the downplay has more reality for me than the bigging up.
When I say evidence I mean examining myself in detail, not through the eyes of others but as best I can through my own self awareness. Of course memory is a trickster and about as accurate as pudding thrown against a wall for determining the unbiased truth of an event, but if you can remove the bias and look neutrally, (impossible....almost), you can see yourself and the actions you took.
But this is just pissing on the campfire and calling it a folk song when it comes to truth, besides anyone could argue the inaccuracy of removing bias from memory, it IS impossible for us, but I try anyhow.
I'll level with you though, in truth I want to be someone who can say what he is thinking about without fear of prejudice or reprimand, and not from society although it can have a dab hand....but from myself.
Like you said, it's up to me and me alone to choose. Hard shit...like constipation. My dad claims I am intelligent, too intelligent for my own good.
I hazard the truth is that I am not nearly as intelligent as he thinks, nor as anyone could wish it. Average at best.
Well I think strong self identity is part of being an intelligent person, but that's just my personal take on one aspect of it.
Pretentious ain't it?