According to my grand opener(s) to this year of potential blogging, I decided I would put myself out there more and be a more open person. A subject that has been on my mind the past week or so is that of illusions of character, or in layman’s terms, letting others believe something that is not necessarily true about who you are. While many of my friends consider me to be a genuine person, this is only true in part. So I shall set forth to debunk what I believe to be my three largest illusions of character (in no significant order of importance).
The Illusion of Emotional Sensitivity
I consider myself to be very good at reading people’s emotional state. Some people would find this astonishing but the honest truth is one of shallow proportions. While I am able to discern how or what a person is feeling, I am usually at a loss as to the why or what that means. I myself am not an emotional person, at least not outwardly. I have practiced (and near perfected) containing any emotion I feel might be detrimental to those around me. This practice only adds to the calm demeanor I put out. While I might be fairly open about this fact, it still does not change how I perceive and react to the emotions of those around me. I would also go so far as to theorize that this inability to comprehend the depth of the emotions felt by those around hinders my ability to cultivate relationship, especially with those of the female persuasion. So yes, I am just another clueless guy even if I can tell something is bothering you.
The Illusion of Maturity
Contrary to what many people around me might believe, I do not consider myself to be a very mature person. In all honesty, I see myself as a some bizarre man-child that has the responsibilities of an adult but the whimsical nature of a four year old. Let me explain: growing up I was heralded as one of the most mature among my peers however I now feel like this was due to my unusual level of wisdom due to my intellect and rational outlook than it was to the state of my maturity. As soon as I obtained some freedom the true level of my maturity shown through as I made bad decisions one after another. I was reckless, stubborn, and selfish. I would like to think that over the past five years or so I have “grown up” considerably but I feel as though I have only just accepted the responsibilities of my age. This is not to say I am immature, but I would rather dispel any notions that my wisdom and intellectual abilities should make me a more mature person than I truly am.
The Illusion of Isolation
As an introvert, I have no issues with being alone. Often I enjoy the solace of having my thoughts to myself. This nature has drawn me to the profession I currently hold. My family and closest friends have a fairly good idea of who I am, but even then the surface has only been scratched. It is a social paradox for I am not comfortable leaving my personal bubble without ulterior motive yet I desire to be a friendly and involved person. Rarely will I turn down an invitation unless unable, yet I have few outlets in which I feel included or involved. Perhaps my shell has hardened to a point that it is not isolation I face but insecurity. Unsure if I can truly relate in a world not forgiving of those without social grace. Yet here I am; socially awkward, introverted, and lonely. This is a loneliness not filled by family or friends but by new experiences, new faces, and new memories.
So what have I learned? I need to speak more with my mouth (since that’s what most people are able to understand) and carry a pin to pop my bubble whenever necessary. Yet the baggage of my immature decisions in the past act as a chain around my neck that I must break link by link. As the weight is lessened, the freedom that will follow might just set me free to be something more than which I currently am. And to that end I strive onward…