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The Phenomenon of Perception Essay

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The Phenomenon of Perception
It’s impossible to decipher how other people view your image. It’s a hypothesis, an educated guess. Projected images can sometimes be misunderstood, viewed as negative, self-serving transparencies. In my experience a large segment of the population attempts to portray a false image of someone they are not, but someone they would like to emulate. Without a solid relationship with someone, it can be difficult to decide if their image is real or delusional. I have been conscious of self image since my youth. My life has provided me with many challenges and opportunities that have resulted in the evolution of my image that has transitioned from a rebellious teenager to a 55-year-old displaced worker going back to college.
My earliest recollection of self image would take me back to elementary school and the problem of what to wear to class the first day. Would I fit in or be ridiculed for my shirt, pants or shoes? This was an early lesson watching people judged by their clothes and physical appearance. The phenomenon of image changed dramatically when I reached high school. I believe high school is a micro society in itself with personal appearance high on the list of things that are coveted. I wanted to fit in but didn’t want to compromise my individuality regarding dress, hair style and choice of peer group. During my high school years my image was ever-changing. I excelled in sports and was viewed as an athlete. On the other hand, my long hair gave me the image of a free spirit. I enjoyed hanging out with the athletes but also found myself drawn to another element; people who smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol and used drugs. I looked at these individuals as taboo, but glamorous at the same ti...


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...home and was married. I was a responsible adult and had an image I found rather refreshing.
It wasn’t as dull as I perceived. I embraced my career and lifestyle. Taking on new responsibilities at home and in the workplace, I found myself enjoying my new image. Although I purchased a sports utility vehicle and a boat, I found myself less conscious of self image I was happy and comfortable in my own skin.
I am now confronted with a new image dilemma. I was displaced from my job with the City of Portland after 17 years. My current image is a 55-year-old college student, an image most people, including myself, are unfamiliar with. I am embracing the educational opportunity and finding my fellow students helpful and friendly. I am right where I want to be in life. My new image will take care of itself. I just hope they accept AARP Discount Cards at the cafeteria.



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