Would I still be me?
Years ago, back in high school, you could see shades of who I am today. But in general, I lacked the self-confidence to just be that person and not care about what people thought. I wanted to be me, but just couldn’t do it.
That changed when I arrived at university. I consciously decided that I was going to be the person I wanted to be. And I did it. I said what I wanted to and did what I wanted to. And in doing so, I became far more vocal and generally effective in terms of the impression I made upon the world around me.
That’s one perspective. On the other hand, maybe I just got more annoying.
As I’ve documented here, I got boring for awhile, and then sought to regain my fun-loving, out-there edge. Mission accomplished.
Now I’m wondering if I’m too far out there. As I get older, I wonder if I need to step back and be a little less vocal in some of the groups I’m involved with. I’ve generally tried to be an integrator, getting people to fit in and creating a fun environment. Maybe I need to change things up. Be a quiet presence and let others pick up the slack.
Problem is, when it comes to social interaction I have two settings: on and off. I’m either all the way in, getting as fully involved as possible, or I’m completely out. I’m not good at just being part of a group. That’s why I left the Warriors Band and Argonotes years ago…I couldn’t just be in the groups.
I think people benefit from my desire to be an integrator, but it’s not a choice that I’m making. So I can’t feel any real pride in what I do or satisfaction. I can’t choose to not be that person, so I’m not really doing anything special.
And that’s something of a flaw, in my opinion. If I want to be versatile, I have to exert better control over who I am and what I do. I have to be able to recognize when I’m potentially drawing too much attention to myself, or pre-emptively resist the temptation. When I see the obvious opportunity for a joke, I need to take advantage of it half the time…not 90% of the time.
For years, I inhibited myself and I still do on occasion. For years, I let myself go and I do most of the time. Now I have to find the middle ground.
Will I still be me? Yes, of course I will. I’ll still have the same thoughts and feelings. I’ll still think the way I do and have the same values and ethics. And I’ll still cut loose with the humour when I think it’s called for.
I’ll still be me…and maybe I’ll be better at being me.