“My sides are many, my angles aren’t few. I’m the Dodecahedron, and who are you?” – The Phantom Tollbooth
I think we can all relate that we have different sides of ourselves. How we are at work is different than when we are home. How we are with our family is different than we are with our friends. The list goes on. We are all, in a sense, actors. We take on roles as we progress through life. This is not being fake, but rather conforming to standards of our surroundings and culture.
When I was in high school, I was voted most shy. So much so that I wasn’t even present for the picture. A girl stood in for me and proceeded to hide behind a book. But was I shy? Perhaps to those that voted me so. I came across that way, quiet, few words and never really got involved. What they saw as shy was merely me trying to blend into the background and be left alone. I was also thought to be smart, to the point that people would try, and cheat off me. Little did they know I was merely an average student (an overall average individual according to my guidance counselor), I had no interest in school. You are welcome for your barely passing grade, by the way.
Now, if you asked my dad, he would say I had an attitude problem and loved to have the last word. My mom would say I was thoughtful and funny. The few friends I had or have, would say I was sweet and kind. On the flip side of all this, I have had my fair share of run ins with undesirable people. To the point of them stealing from me and abusing my trust. If you were to ask them, I would be classed as a hateful person and go on to use some form of language (insert expletive here). If you were to ask different people about yourself, they may give you different answers with a common thread throughout. In the end we are all these things. It is all in the perspective.
I have spent years analyzing my own life. Why I was the way I was and what caused me to do what I did. Hence my fascination in psychology. Of course, book reading and learning the trade did not mean I was an expert on humanity or even myself. I just started to see more clearly how I was in all my different facets. Instead of struggling to fit in and be a certain way, I embraced all those personalities. Less of a mental disorder and more of an outcome of life experiences.
I am not saying go ahead and indulge yourself with less than palatable activities, but rather look at yourself for all that you are. Once you start accepting you, the happier you will become. Easier said than done, I know. It may take years of experiences and even I am still learning all the ins and outs of myself. We are constantly evolving and changing. That is the beauty of it, that we can adapt and change. I wish you luck on the journey. The world can be a beautiful place if we see it that way.