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First thoughts on Personas

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I’ve fallen a day or two behind on my 19 topic daily rotation. And since (at least at this point) I don’t think anyone’s really expecting them, I’ll give myself a pass on it. And it was very good to take my first actual step into doing journalism yesterday, and the people at South Church and Roots and Wings couldn’t have more lovely and calmly inspiring.

And I got to try out my journalist persona. What do you do? I’m a writer. Just said it right out there. I’d been thinking about going to the 5/5/12 350.org events for two weeks, and kept putting it off and subconsciously trying to find a way to get out of it. And in the parking lot I was so nervous I could barely stand it. Once I walked over and introduced myself, everything was fine. I enjoyed asking questions and being interested, and they were happy to talk to me. I even got a piece of pizza. It was a small fulfillment of one of my daily affirmations “More and more people will be happy to see me, hear from me, work with me.”

My blog, my 19-day rotation, my “Generalist” tag line, my business cards with multiple descriptors (“Writing & Publicity,” “21st Century Communications,” “Purpose-Built Writing,” etc.) are all about the different, nearly independent, versions of me that I’m feeling like making explicit. I’m taking it on faith that others will find it interesting and want to follow along. And my first new poem, “Presentation of Self in Everyday Life” (due in 10 short days) is about that as well.

Everyone experiences the different versions of themselves, which to emphasize and which to repress, how to work it. It’s always been a very explicit issue for me, and one I’ve experimented with, had feelings about, thought about, for a long time.

Ultimately, I think it’s unnatural. There’s some kind of cognitive laziness, some pattern recognition tic, that makes us require each other to be one thing. It’s simply not true, and we all end up lopping off vital chunks of ourselves that don’t fit with the one we finally pick, the one everyone else expects. How much more interesting a world it would be if we all were expressing, acting from, more of our different selves, the person passionate about some particular thing, some preferred way of being, that we inhabit deeply, even it it’s only for 90 seconds a month. And, truth be told, there’s a lot of my multiple personas I’m in no way prepared to send into the light.

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