It’s Enough to Be Ourselves

For years I’ve been noting down inspirational quotes from interviews I’ve read. Among “my inspirations” list that I created this month for the creative studio Le Koko Collectif, there was the reply that John Cassavetes gave to the question “What advice would you give to young directors?”

“Say what you are. Not what you would like to be. Not what you have to be. Just say what you are. And what you are is good enough.” This reminded me of the trap that a lot of us fall into. Especially people who are within the creative fields. When we define ourselves based on what we do or what we want to do, we seem to distance ourselves from the lithe pleasure of just ‘being.’ Believing that we only deserve to be ourselves when we accomplish something is perhaps our biggest delusion.

I recently gave a friend of mine a bookmark as a gift for her seven-year old son. Her response was that he would be thrilled and that he had even been chosen as the school’s bookworm. The next day, she added that “it seems that four other students were also chosen, and now he wants to divide the bookmark into five pieces.” And I said, “I didn’t give him the bookmark because he was chosen as the school’s bookworm, but because he’s Ali.”

It’s good to sometimes remind ourselves of this. To take a deep breath and just enjoying ‘being.’



Translated by Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

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