There isn’t one me, and that’s OK.

A post at Hearthrose’s blog got me thinking about something recently.

Although I take pride in being pretty independent and happy to be alone, like all people I try and craft myself a story which minimizes conflict, which allows me to appear more congruent, to fit into the group.

But the thing is, although I am functional, stable and happy, I am not a sane, balanced, “one story” sort of a person. I’ve done a lot of stuff, a lot of stuff has happened to me, and my refusal to adhere to one group means my outlook on life isn’t from the same vantage point as any given person I am talking to. I have been on welfare and among the elite at the Oxford and Cambridge club. I have spent time in churches and posing nude for painting and photography groups. I have been paid to write liberal essays, but I have also intentionally associated with Marxists and feminists. I have lived across countries, incomes, social boundaries… And between that and the randomly flicking light switch which is my hormonal balance, I am not sane or balanced, there is no “one story”.

I find that with the way my head works, it’s hard to reconcile many different aspects of myself. I learned from a young age that people as disjointed and random as me aren’t “real” people, that I needed to simplify myself in order to be “genuine”. Although no one person has mattered to me beyond Jon, I’ve still tried to minimize conflict by wedging myself into one story and hiding anything which didn’t quite fit.

Pregnancy has given me some time to think about this though, especially about disorders like bipolar and disorders of shallow affect. I know they’re highly heritable. But I don’t want my son to end up like my father: a bipolar alcoholic unable to reconcile all the facets of his identity into something pleasant and superficially genuine, which people might find easier to swallow. I want my son to be able to be weird and disjointed, to not commit to something unless he needs to or wants to or believes it makes sense, to not force himself into an indentity or a group without reason. I don’t want to make him think he has to find a community he can perfectly blend into and fade into the background. Because that is what happened to my father and it doesn’t work.

I don’t care any more if I’m a bit too sweary or immodest at times for the traditional spheres. Or if I’m not racy or flaunty enough for social media. Or if I’m not religious enough for small communities. Or if I’m not abrasive enough for my age group. I don’t care that I read anything from the KJ Bible to Deadman Wonderland, that I’m an anime nerd, that I can’t hate the sex industry, that I prefer to be alone most of the time, that I’m self-absorbed, that I like to do traditional tasks, that I hoard money instead of using it.

I’d rather get on with being me, doing what I must do in order to succeed at what I want, accepting the different sides of myself and not hiding them in order to fit in better or appease someone. If something needs fixing, I’ll fix it, not pretend it isn’t there to give a better impression. And if I lose a few people along the way, then they’re not part of my story, are they?

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3 thoughts on “There isn’t one me, and that’s OK.

  1. I actually wanted to clap at the end of this post. Really well said. It’s a mindset I just wish more people could accept, we spend so long trying to appease others, or even to appease this concept of society, and we just repress ourselves unnecessarily… Bravo. Get on with being yourself; absolutely, unashamedly yourself. 🙂

    Like

  2. Thank you for the thoughts and the linkage. 🙂

    Insofar as one obeys, one should obey with a whole heart. I obey God not because it’s “nice” – when I have chosen that path, I’ve found it full of broken glass – but because He is Truth. Shedding the “story” of Christians sometimes can make it easier to follow Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amen, well said. You’re one of those renaissance girls, a jill of all trades. That’s a good way to be in the world.

    One thing I can offer you, lean into that guy of yours when the baby comes. Men love to be appreciated, valued, depended on even. I’m really independent, so when I had my kids I had to pull dad in, to let go of some control and allow him to well, be a dad. I’m really grateful we managed to do that because I’ve never had to go it alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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