Getting to the truth of oneself, though, requires more than just a good memory or even the maturity of self-awareness. The quest to truly know oneself, especially on the page, comes down to a battle with pride, the pride that always wants to see oneself as better or smarter or meaner or any other superlative than what reality has given.
“No matter how much you’re gunning for truth, the human ego is also a stealthy, low-crawling bastard, and for pretty much everybody, getting used to who you are is a lifelong spiritual struggle,” Karr writes. “Start trying to bring yourself to the page, and fear of how you’ll come off besets even the most forthright. The best you can hope for is to rip off each mask as you find it blotting out your vision.”