Kim's Blogs

We Are Not What We Think We Are, We Are What We Hide

We are not what we think we are, we are what we hide.” – Andre Malraux Tattoos Still the Kiss of death in the Work Place?



~Beneath his grey, sharkskin Ralph Lauren suit, I hear from a dependable source, perhaps somebody who knew him in a past life, an uninhibited life, that his arms are rich and fiery and rebelliously covered with tattoos: sleeves of black, blue, red, skin of verse, inky maps of who he truly is, or was, or wants to become. Again.


Coiled up cobras. A Jack Kerouac quote: “the road is life.” A swirling ball of fire on his right shoulder blade. A Japanese symbol for love on his left humerus.


I’ve seen him in the daytime hours, but I don’t talk to him directly, so I watch from a distance how he interacts with other people, how they interact with him. Would they be surprised or judgmental if they knew about the tattoos, the swirling snakes slithering up his triceps? Would they consider him, irresponsible, reckless, unprofessional?


I’m fascinated by this other side we hold within: this Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this good girl/bad girl side, this light/dark side, this side we hide, the secrets we can’t even confess to ourselves. I mean, don’t we spend our entire lives trying to fuse and interweave these two sides together?


Do we actually know anybody fully, completely; the true, profound, philosophical core of them, the essence of what makes them whole?


Sigmund Freud said, “The more perfect a person is on the outside, the more demons they have on the inside.” And in Nabokov’s classic book, Lolita, he gives his protagonist the name, Humbert Humbert, which suggests two persons’:  Monster & Human.


And I ponder, aren’t we all little monsters in one way or another?


I’ll be the first to admit, I only reveal half of myself to the world. I used to tell my sister that if we were merged together, we could be the perfect woman; she was the Marie Osmond and I was the Joan Jett.


Anyway, one side of me is rather typical, smiling, confident, overpowering, and doesn’t give a damn what others think. I apply scarlet lipstick to my face in the morning as if everything is all right, as if I’m carefree, as I’m normal…


…but I’m just as crazy as the rest.


Searching.    Evolving.   Opening.    Closing.


My other side mourns the loss of my murdered sister, the loss of myself. I’ve cried over that loss for seven long, lonely years. My other side writes words and words and words to breathe, to live, to find God. My other side has misgivings about my abilities, dislikes my job, drinks too much wine from time to time, and cares deeply, obsessively how others perceive me.


Okay, I got lost for a moment… let me start from the beginning.


About the man in grey, sharkskin Ralph Lauren suit,


I find him much more interesting since I heard about the tattoos: more approachable, human, authentic, more like a Kerouac poem I can identify with.


Next time I see him wrapped inside his beautiful costume, perhaps I shall tell him.



—-Darlings, do you show your entire self to the world

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  • Reply
    Nan @ lbddiaries
    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Exactly!!! You’ve actually said something few people see or admit, or even know, about themselves or others. I love the suit-hidden tattoos example. It’s like my son who has that long beard. People assume “biker, bad a$$, druggie, slacker” when the truth is that while he has a Harley, he’s just a nice guy whio will fight for the underdog, loves his mama, and just likes his beard.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 20, 2017 at 6:28 am

      I find these other sides fascinating. And when I see somebody w/ a Harley, I want to know their story immediately!


  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Dear Kim – The more perfect a person is on the outside, the more demons they have on the inside.” Isn’t that the truth? People want to be like the rich and famous only to find out that that those people are on the verge of something so self-destructive. Why? I think because they sell their soul thinking they will not need one in their new life.
    I am a hot mess, but out of the mess comes art, friendship, love, words and dark chocolate which fees my messy soul.

    Love you. xoxo

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 20, 2017 at 6:29 am

      We are all a “HOT MESS.”
      AHhhhh, that’s the rub….
      what do we do w/ that mess? xxxx

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    I hope what you see is what you get with me. I guess there is things hidden about me that I don’t share with others. That’s between me and God.
    Love You

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 20, 2017 at 6:30 am

      I’m sure you have secrets you haven’t told me about, too! Tell me! LOVE YOUUUUU. xxxx

  • Reply
    Elephants Child
    July 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Of course not. There are pieces (big chunks) of me I don’t like. Why would I inflict them on anyone else. Which is inconsistent of me, and perhaps hypercritical, because I like/love hearing/seeing other people’s full picture.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 20, 2017 at 6:30 am

      I agree!
      I love hearing other people’s stories!
      Perhaps this is why I LOVE to read, write…. xxx hugs back.

  • Reply
    Lisa Gordon
    July 19, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Definitely not. I am not sure that anyone really does, truthfully.
    I’ve never really thought about it until reading this post. 🙂
    However, I think that I’m glad that I’m not “all out there.”
    I honestly think that there’s a bit too much of that.
    I kind of like a sense of mystery, you know. 🙂
    Wonderfully thought-provoking post, my friend.
    Sending you hugs.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 20, 2017 at 6:32 am

      I agree, Lisa,
      too much info out there…Stupid info….
      but I want to hear the depth and substance of what ‘s inside souls.
      That’s what I ‘m interested in! xxx

  • Reply
    Minnesota Prairie Roots
    July 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    I think we all hide things from the world, revealing only some facets of ourselves to those we trust.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 20, 2017 at 7:01 am

      the only people who see us “Whole” are the families who love us unconditionally.
      Perhaps, this is one of the reasons I miss Kay so deeply. x

  • Reply
    Anna @ shenANNAgans
    July 19, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Going through one of those stages where I don’t/won’t/can’t share as I don’t feel I have much positive or interesting to share with the world. Feeling a touch alone with where I am at, the next door hasn’t opened yet, so in limbo. But it is wonderful to feel connected with beautiful souls like yourself. Hugs from the Whitsundays in Australia. xo

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 20, 2017 at 7:02 am

      Hello, Dear,

      Those negative things you must share w/ people you trust and love.

      You see, they will still love you afterwards. xxx

  • Reply
    lisa thomson
    July 19, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    There’s so much to think about here. Just your title alone, had me in a quandary. I believe I show only half of myself, too. I want so much to do the right thing all the time but I mess up. Then I spend time ruminating on my mess up. It’s not a very productive cycle. My daughter is covered as is this gentlemen, in ink. Whales, umbrellas, mermaid with perfect breasts, a grim reaper, a bunny rabbit, a sign of the scales (Libra), mom, all of these things displayed on her skin, like a novel. I look and wonder who she is. Do I truly know the girl I gave birth to? Is there a part of my dark self in her?

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 20, 2017 at 7:03 am

      –We don’t really know somebody, the entire person, heart, soul…
      but God does.
      And that’s Okay!! Your daughter sounds as if she’s trying to find herself. How old is she?


      • Reply
        lisa thomson
        July 20, 2017 at 5:50 pm

        She’s 24 will be 25 in the fall. She simply loves ink. I just hope she’ll love all of those tatts forever and have zero regrets. God knows…I love that, Kim.

        • Reply
          My Inner Chick
          July 23, 2017 at 6:39 am



          Some people have the ink on the outside & others have it on the inside.

          What does that mean?


  • Reply
    Kim Gagnon
    July 19, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Love you❤️💋

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    July 20, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Love you, too.
    Can’t wait until Monday. xxx

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    July 20, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Don’t we all have many different sides? Another inspirational post from you, Kim.

  • Reply
    Annette Connelly
    July 20, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Hmmm, what do others see about me? My husband often tells me he sees a sweet gal who treats others with warmth. A person with friendly eyes and a warm smile. A gal that can be outrageously funny.

    I was in a skit at church recently for VBS, and it was the night when the parents were there to to see the slideshow and a final performance of their kids, and me as a Sally Spruce character. The audience roared and the pastor began to say something…I don’t know about me in character. My husband started to say you should see her at home when she…(I covered his mouth) and his was not able to finish his sentence of me performing my (Where’s Gladys skit.)

    The audience roared again.

    And it’s true that I like to show kindness. If I see someone who looks as though they feel out of place I’ll do say something to ease their spirit. I do like to laugh and be funny.

    But I have hidden much treacherous pain behind a fake smile when I was in strained relationships with abusers. I’ve over drank wine when I’ve felt the burden of a strained relationship I have with my mother. I can be wittingly sarcastic to someone who is rude.

    I feel so physically depressed when the weather is gloomy, that I think I’d be dead if the depression I feel could kill.

    I know all these not good things I’ve just mentioned are not pleasing to God. And I find myself thanking him so very often for his abounding grace.

    Some days I hate this world so much that I want Jesus to return NOW!

    That being said, I can totally relate to the idea that we all wear masks to hide our inner feelings of hurt, anger or pain.

    Once again Kim, a very well written post.


    Little Chickie

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 20, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Little Chickie,
      I agree…sometimes the world is so damn PAINFUL…heartbreaking…SAD….Ruthless…..
      but then I look at my boys, the hydrangeas’ in my garden, the aqua sky, and feel the heat of the
      sun kissing my cheeks…
      and I slip away into gratitude, thanks, prayer.
      God Lives.
      xxxx kisssss for you.

  • Reply
    Marie Kléber
    July 21, 2017 at 5:42 am

    I love this Kim.
    We do hide a lot to protect ourselves maybe, to keep a part of mystery. Or maybe we don’t know that we hide so much.
    I try to show more of who I am, the good and the bad. And to be proud about both, smiles and scars. Cause I love to know what’s inside people, I love to hear about their stories, the truth of their heart and soul.

    Thanks for your card Kim. Should come back soon on my blog…
    Love you to the moon. xoxo

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 22, 2017 at 7:29 am

      perhaps this is why we write, darling.
      The words are our release, our freedom!
      Love you, too. xx

  • Reply
    Christine Carter
    July 21, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Another profound look into WHO we are… and what we show others and the world. It’s SO true. We ALL have our secret side, our quiet hidden pieces and sometimes, if we are really really blessed to open them up, expose them, share them, reveal them- we find those are the true private treasures we can hold as sacred between us and God. Even the dark ugly parts become pure in His eyes. It’s a glorious revelation to behold!

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 22, 2017 at 7:30 am

      YES, Chris.
      God knows ALL our dirty little secrets….
      and HE still LOVES us.
      Isn’t that amazing? xxxx

  • Reply
    July 22, 2017 at 3:34 am

    I agree we are, in simple terms, both a good person and a less good person, or even a bad person, but our good person battles to be the dominant force in our character regardless of the temptations which surround it. I am an encyclopaedia of weaknesses but I do my best to control them !

  • Reply
    July 22, 2017 at 3:48 am

    There are only a select few who truly know all of me. We are getting to know each other more and more. Love that!
    Have a beautiful and happy weekend dear Kim.
    Sadly my Pete en route back to Kenya today and our kitty still fighting to get through her tick bite fever and FIV. She is a very strong willed little angel.
    Sunshine filled love and kisses to you.
    🙂 Mandy xoxo

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 22, 2017 at 7:32 am

      Oh, you will miss your sweet Pete.
      Wish I were there to meet you for coffee or wine, dear. xxx how is kitty?

  • Reply
    July 22, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    I can’t love this post enough. Thanks for sharing, Kim!

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 23, 2017 at 6:38 am

      You are more than welcome, Trish.

      I believe most people will identify one way or another.

      The only person who really knew the “Full” me was Kay. xx how r u?

    • Reply
      July 24, 2017 at 2:24 am

      Yes, I want to have coffee and then wine. We truly need to work on it becoming a reality! <3
      Kitty had a really bad turn yesterday. I was sure the vet was going to say something I didn't want to hear this morning but he said she is still fighting so we will too! He gave her more jabs and injected fluids under skin again to be absorbed and we will reassess tomorrow. I am not cut out for this trauma! I am shattered and broken! xoxoxo

  • Reply
    July 26, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Kim, I have to agree with your daddy — I’m pretty much who I appear to be. Do I have secrets that I refuse to share with just anyone? Of course … we all do. But that’s called self-preservation, and once burned, we’re twice shy. Interesting thoughts here today, ma’am.

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    July 27, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Oh Kim who is he? I’m intrigued and want to know more-did you find out more about him? I suppose that may be true what Freud said, I think a lot of people like to put up a veneer of perfection that is meant to be glossy and hide what lies underneath.

  • Reply
    green global trek
    July 31, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Kim this is such a thoughtful, poetic and impactful piece. I think you address a very important and interesting topic. It fascinates me of course because my background is in Psychology and I am always fascinated by what people choose to present to the outward public and what they hold back of their inner selves. I think it is also why I prefer being with people one on one than in larger groups where/when people have a natural tendency to be more superficial in their communications. I am way more interested in getting to know the “real” person inside and that is hard to do, for me, other than one on one.

    You have such an eloquent way of writing Kim, that just draws the reader right in… to every word, start to finish.


  • Reply
    August 2, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Sorry I haven’t stopped by sooner! This post raises many things that have been on my mind the past couple of years. It’s hard to believe I was married to a Jekyll and Hyde, but that’s exactly what he was. I’m just starting to gradually set down more specifics about his issues in the cancer posts I’ve been writing, but yes, he falls into the monster category. That’s hard to reconcile with the version of the man I spent half of my life with.

  • Reply
    Claire Duffy
    August 3, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Beautiful! I like the idea that the more perfect we are on the inside the more demons we have on the inside… only partly because it means I’ve got NO demons on the inside 😂

  • Reply
    Andrea I The Kitchen Lioness
    August 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Wonderful inspiring and thought provoking post…and, personally I believe that we never really show all of us, it would make us too vulnerable…

    Sending you a big hug!

  • Reply
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother
    August 18, 2017 at 6:05 am

    I love this so much, because I have numerous tattoos. I kept them covered while my mother was still alive, but after she passed, I started wearing more shorts and short-sleeved tops. My siblings hate the tattoos, and I feel their judgement, but the general public seems to appreciate them.

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