Having much time on my hands to think, and having recently confronted a side of myself I rarely have surface, I found it necessary to reflect on the different facets of my person and how that often reveals itself to the world. *deep breath* I am, without a doubt, a tremendously complicated person. In fact, I believe most people are more conflicted than they will let on. Normally we project a side of ourselves that is one of our better phases and at worst, a neutral personality. Yet sometimes outside factors or internal influences will drastically change our ability to pick when and where certain traits push to the surface.
Presently I am taking some serious medication for a combination of allergies, sinus congestion, and inflammation in my bronchi. This chemical overload creates an imbalance and can particularly influence my ability to control my mood. Unfortunately this can cause me to slide down my “personality” bar towards a more negative side of my personality.
Let me explain: I am a visualizer, that is to say I try to create a visual picture of otherwise intangible concepts, such as spiritual growth, memories, or personality. In the terms of personality, I visualize my moods, and their related personality traits, like that of a sliding bar graph. On one end is the darkest and most negatively emotional side of my person. On the other are my warmest and purest traits. But I intend to briefly outline the basic stages of this progression from one side to the other as a means to better explain myself to those who might stumble across this post.
Let me start with the far left (or if you will, the “dark side”). Here lies me at vengeful, feral rage. This side of me has rarely ever surfaced around others, in fact I can count the number of times this facet of my personality burst through for a brief moment on one hand. This darkest side is more realized when I am at my worst point of an internal conflict and often it takes me releasing my pain, hate, and rage at the feet of my Creator. This emotional and spiritual cleansing is an infrequent occurrence but one I find necessary as I am constantly at war with my fallen nature. One step closer to neutral is perhaps the most dangerous side of my personality spectrum, as it can surface at things I am not entirely prepared to have others witness. This is me at the unfiltered and uninhibited level. It could be argued that this is the most authentic version of myself, as I have lost any ability to filter or read the reactions of those around me to alter my actions. Normally I am pretty good at reading people but when this side of me surfaces, I become focused on a single thought and run with it until there is nothing left. This version of me is, at its core, boisterous, arrogant, and unusually talkative. This side can surface when I am off my natural rhythm, whether it be due to a lack of sleep or having a couple more drinks than normal. The closest to neutral I get on my darker side is me at the depressed and melancholy. I can get brooding, solemn, and withdrawn, often after something takes me by surprise and causes me to rethink the nature of my relationship with the world. I will often go into hermit-mode, hiding for my family and friends until I have either come to terms with or resolved the issues. Many times I will transition into this phase after having either experienced an intense period of a phase on the “brighter” side or as part of my recovery from one of the darker stages.
In the middle, what I consider my neutral personality, is me as the observer. I tend to default into this person whenever I have no motivation to engage with the world around me. I have not completely withdrawn but rather I stick to the edges, gathering data and making judgments. I tend to limit my interactions in the stage to only that which is necessary and prefer to let things happen rather than make major effort to influence their course. It draws on my traits of introversion and analysis to create a balance between interaction and emotional display, finding a natural and unremarkable stage of personality.
Beginning the brighter side of my personality is the competitor in me. This stage is engaged but silent, fierce but controlled, knowledgeable but succinct. I step into this stage whenever I lace up my cleats, put on my coach’s shirt, or sit down at my computer. It is a stage of measured aggression, purposeful and direct but not overwhelming those around me. The primary difference between this stage and that of neutral observation is the intentional engagement of my person into the activity at present. I become an integral part of what is happening rather than watching from the outside. A step further from neutral is me as the instigator or instructor. Here I place myself into the limelight, leading by word or deed. It is not a role I relish but I will step into when I feel it necessary. Here I am poised to pursue a purpose and will be as commanding and demanding as the situation demands. While you might think this stage belongs towards the darker end, I must counter by saying this stage is also me at a selfless level. Here I have put aside my natural disposition to avoid confrontation and attention to achieve the greater good of the group. Finally on the furthest stage of my brighter side is me at the joyful, enthusiastic, carefree level. Here I have moved beyond my reservations, due to either a need to express my feelings or the removal of importance on the impression others might have of my actions. This side of me often surfaces in the church camp environment, where my energy and intensity directly overflows into those around me. I am inspired and inspiring at the same time. I am carefree and mischievous, causing laughter to reign supreme in the situation. This phase of my personality seeks to spread laughter and humor and often leaks through when I engage in witty comedy or friendly teasing.
Most of the time, I am not isolated to a specific stage of personality but am often balancing between two or three different stages at once. As I write this I am somewhere between melancholy and educator, seeking to express my desire to overcome my hurt feelings while revealing not everything I appear to be is truly who I am. If there is anything to be learned on your part as a reader, it would be that one encounter with my person is not enough to have even a close idea of the genuine me, in fact those who I consider my closer friends had to endure months of interaction before they were able to understand what makes me tick.