Know Thyself

I remember studying—both in highschool and when I was in Greece a few years back—the Greek aphorism, “know thyself.”  I always thought this was an interesting concept.  I figured everybody knew him/herself.

This evening at dinner (which was a lovely gathering of people I just adore, my Aunt Chris, my dear friend Laura, and my friends Pavitar and Aanmol, a couple I met at a local bar a few years ago and we have been friends every since.  Actually, it’s a really sweet story, I will save that for another time.)  We were talking about being true to oneself and I was passionately going off about always being true to oneself and Aanmol, who is a psychologist, calmly stated simply that some people don’t know themselves.  I was baffled.  It hadn’t occurred to me that people could not know themselves.

I guess people go through life behaving as they think they ought to.  As religion or their parents or society or Cosmo or the Real Housewives of whatever prescribes but they never actually know who they are, what makes their heart beat, what they are passionate about.  I felt so sad for these people.  I also don’t take ownership for their decisions but how sad that they not have the courage to seek out their own happiness.

Fun story of how I met Pavitar and Aanmol!! So I was at the bar, Post No Bills for a friend’s birthday party.  I was with this guy I was sort of dating at the time, Josh, but he was chatting with other people and I was mingling, myself.  The thing at Post No Bills is that they don’t serve food but they allow you to bring food from home/take out/etc.  I was wandering around chatting with people I saw 2 couples sitting at a table (not guests of the birthday party) and they had a big pot with ceramic bowls and real flatware.  If you know me, you know I love food and specifically home made food.  I went over to their table, “Hi, I’m Sally, what have you got in the pot?” I’m sure I said it more politely and charmingly but you get the gist.  They introduced themselves, we starting talking about what they all did professionally, what I did professionally, and of course, the contents of the pot, biriani.  If you are not familiar with this rice dish, you must try it.  I was so excited and I told them that one of my best friends from college’s mom made me biriani all the time and I loved it.  They invited me to joint them for dinner.  They asked if I was with someone (a guy) and I said I had come to the party with someone.  They insisted I invite him over for food.  I went and fetched Josh.  He was mortified that we would be eating these people’s food and that I had spoken to strangers.  (He didn’t last long.)  They served us both food and we had a lovely conversation.  They invited us over for dinner on Sunday evening at their house and we actually went.  They cooked us a lovely Indian meal (they are Indian) and Pavitar and I enjoyed rum-spiked fruit smoothies (Josh was DD).  Josh didn’t last long after that date but Pavi and Aanmol did, they are dear friends that I just so cherish.

I started off this post wanting to talk about knowing one’s self.  And then it morphed into how I met these friends of mine.  I guess the two converge at some point.  I know that I can make friends with good people who like good food.  After dinner, as Laura, Chris and I were doing dishes, Laura commented that I was a magnet for good people.  I thought that was sweet but I don’t quite think it’s a compliment.  My dad always says life is a mirror, and you get back what you put out there.  At the expense of sounding self-serving and conceited, I will say that I do seek out people who like good food.  Not good in the 3 Michelin star rated restaurants but the, cooked in a banged up pot using the recipe your mom told you over the phone for the 42nd time, kind of good food.  Because it’s in those little things that you can tell a lot about people.

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