Friday, January 09, 2009

Identity Crisis

I like to think of myself as unique. Deep inside I harbor this fear that I'm actually a conformist. I have amazing chamelon abilities. Part of this ability, I suspect, is an inherited trait from my father. People love my dad. He has this kind of friendly demeanor that attracts people. I at times have this as well (at least until my inner bitch unleases herself). This ability to attract people is linked to being able to talk with anyone about anything. The ability to become who people need you to be. To blend in with whoever you're around. And I fear that this is really me...not the rebel girl I yearn to be.

And I find myself blending into whatever life I move into with ease. When I was teaching, I spent some time thinking that I could do this for the rest of my life. When I was in the midst of grad. school that seemed like the life. Now that I'm basically a SAHM, I find myself rather enjoying it.

Which leads to this whole problem of identity. I find myself agonizing late at night, in the grips of insomnia, about who I really am. What is my essence, I worry, as I toss about trying to slip into a dream. What do I want to be when I grow up? Why can't I just find myself and be content? Why is identity such a fleeting thing for me? Why can I just figure out who I am and what I want to do?

Of course, it seems like most people don't go through this. I look at people and they seem pretty content with they are...no agonizing late at night about their identities.

And I feel shallow and wishy washy. Can't I just commit to being a nonconformist? Or even a conformist? I feel like I double talk as I try to balance how I feel while being bombarded with multiple expectations about how I should feel. These are the times when I wish I just could have a solid opinion without worry, without fear, without doubt.

People think I'm this strong, opioninated bitch woman from hell. But really I feel like a scared little girl trapped in a big person's body. A tiny being who is unsure, insecure, and uncertian. I am a chameleon sometimes when I feel like I shouldn't be. There are times when I anger myself for not speaking out, and times when I anger myself for speaking out.

5 comments:

John B-R said...

"Of course, it seems like most people don't go through this."

Just remember the "seems".

There is a bright side: I'm old enough now to no longer worry about these things. I yam what I yam, as Popeye used to say.

It doesn't mean that "There are times when I anger myself for not speaking out, and times when I anger myself for speaking out." It just means ... so it goes. That's life. Etc.

Next time you're lying in bed at night remind yourself, "For whatever it's worth, lots of people, including John, don't think I should be any different than I am. They think I'm pretty wonderful, actually."

Ros said...

But even if you DO figure out who you are and what you want to do -- it's going to change. Some people hit 18 or 25 and get stuck there. You know, the women are still wearing those 80's bangs flipped back and listening to 80's music. You have too active a mind to stagnate, which means who you are will always be changing and growing.

Horacio said...

Hey, you just described the woman that I'm in love with...
I'm glad you're never content with what you ARE, so that you will keep BECOMING.

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

Thank you all. I think I was going through some kind of poseur mentality thing. And after reading your comments, I realized you're all right. Life is about a process of becoming as opposed to a process of coming to an end goal so to speak.

Plus I realized while working on my thesis and reading for next semester that I do love the academic life...it fosters that feeling of becoming...

The Bear Maiden said...

Funny. I've worried about that myself. The "being who people needed me to be". The chameleon. The blending. I belong to everyone yet belong to no one. "Being" is like putting on clothes; what am I today? Who will I be?

It's to the point where I can't be with any one group of people for very long... not even my family, without starting to feel restless. I thought about it a lot... when am I really me? And I discovered that I am "me" when I'm with my kid... just me and him. So then I started to pay attention to what that felt like... and now I find I can hold on to "me" no matter who I am that day.

And I found a whole new strength in that. And I discovered HA!!! It's very very useful to be a chameleon. It's also a gift to be able to be what people need. It's a good thing... as long as you can maintain yourself. But like your wonderful man has said, the advantage to this is the excitement of always "becoming". I'm never bored.

I hope one day I find someone who will appreciate that in me... the way Horacio appreciates you. That's just the coolest thing... Most people, when they realize I'm changing, are just dumbfounded or bewildered, and can't take the ride...

... you are blessed...