Hearing my voice recorded for the first time was a shock.
“It’s not me!” I thought. But I knew it was me, I made a record myself. “I don’t sound like that.” But I did.
There was nothing specifically ugly in my voice for me to hate it, I simply didn’t recognize it. In my head I sounded different; not better, not worse, just different.
When I heard the record for the second and then the third time I had to surrender. This is how I stammer when I speak too fast. This is how high my voice gets when I’m excited. This cackle is my manner to laugh. This is my sound image printed in other people’s heads.
Since then I’ve known there are two realities. One is the way you perceive yourself; the other is the world’s perception of you. These two never really match. Sometimes you think better of yourself than the world does. Sometimes the world likes you more than you do. But there’s always the tension between these two images, and you can’t never be sure which one is true. Maybe both of them. Maybe none.