Of late I have begun to think that in my efforts of trying to find the perfect balanced personality and temperament, I may have let a few threads loose. At a very subconscious level it is unsettling, difficult and I feel like I’m struggling. However, at a conscious level, to me it is just a part and parcel of Life; change is inevitable and I wholeheartedly accept changes with every major incidents and milestones in my Life. I know for a fact that every such incident has indelibly left an imprint on my personality, for better or worse, and that I am a slightly different person each time. The pursuit, is of course always, that I change for the better- that I become a better ‘me’.
I’ve had a series of fluctuations in my personality. In my childhood, I was a very naughty tomboy, bright and bullish. In my teenage, I was still a bit of a big-mouth, laughed a lot and hard, but was a little less naughtier and made use of the little creativity I had in me with the handicrafts I made from scrap lying around. As an early adolescent, I became quieter, more observant and suddenly found myself deep in the world of my books and studies. I never dated. Then, I became more career focussed and quieter, serious and tough. I discovered my preference of liking the life as an introvert. I was smart, intelligent, not so pretty and did not really socialise. I was a bit too left-headed. With my shift abroad came one of my life’s drastic personality changes, when my room-mates helped me open up, loosen myself a little and help build trust and love in relationships with people. I realised the importance of people and relationships. Perhaps the feeling of being away from home also stirred some emotions in me then. Not just emotionally, professionally too, I was very independent and confident as a person. This was the peak of my life when I felt I was almost there in terms of finding the balance of being practical yet not hard and cold as a person, with no emotions. Then, when I fell in love, the emotions overwhelmed the surface of my heart in a way that I had never felt before. Suddenly, every emotion touched me so much- love, hatred, anger, sadness, pity. Just when things couldn’t have gone worse, after the relationship ended I found myself drowning in the sea of emotions and hating myself for losing my practical head. It wasn’t very easy to remind myself to not lose my mind, but I survived. The aftermath of the relationship however, has indeed brought a change in me, undoubtedly. For someone who could never bring herself to cry even when I wanted to (resulting in bottling up the sorrows), I’m someone who cries even while watching a movie today. Well, it’s just a reminder that I’m human and I guess I’m finally behaving like one! 😛
And here I am back on the track again trying to find the balance and trudging along.
Mother always reminded me to control my temper and haste, and to watch what and how I spoke to people, lest I regret it later. So, it was a conscious effort initially to control my garb, for I realised that the words that come out in wrath may hurt someone and I may only regret it later. It doesn’t really serve any purpose other than cause irreconcilable harm and hurt. I thought it best to try and be a kinder and more peaceful person. But, in trying to find peace, am I actually acting foolish?
I used to be bold, brave (my friends still associate me with Merida in Brave), free-spirited and quick with decisions and my mouth. I’m still sarcastic (that’s in my sign, can’t get rid of it completely! 🙂 ), but I used to give witty answers immediately when I found myself being mistreated or wronged. I spoke for my right and stood for myself. And I did it well, pretty much alone, by myself without anyone’s help.
Somehow though, today, I am in a certain position in my life when I know I am being mistreated and treated unjustly and yet instead of arguing on the topic or trying to provide an explanation, I choose to ignore and shrug it off. Now, while I may think it is always best to avoid conflicts, I am also beginning to think if I’m just turning into an easily submissive and dominated person. What is the point of having a certain characteristic if I wasn’t going to use it when I needed to?!
At work today, a younger colleague insisted that I at least raise my point against the impartial treatment that I had been so subtly facing, and yet I shrugged it off, stating that it was of no use. People will still favour those that buzz around them like sticking flies when they have to, despite any rationale I give. I wasn’t as bothered of the fact that my colleagues think I am no good, that I ignore such instances at work and prefer to quietly wait for the moment when the volcano would erupt, but on my way back I kept wondering if this was a change that was harmful to me than a positive one. If I could identify it as a wrong change, I’d rather fix it than it’s too late.
To get my thoughts and perspective in place, I happened to speak to one of my good friends, the same roomie I stayed with years ago. And well, talking always helps 🙂 In fact, he gave me a rather interesting perspective to it. He’s changed too, as a person.
He said that, according to him, in reality I pretend to be someone I am not, with people I meet initially, until I can trust them. I have a shield (and I do agree). It took some of my really good friends and my ex to really crack my shell to make me who I am today, in terms of being receptive with people. The moment someone gets too close to me, faster than I have anticipated or trust them, I move away. But once I have trusted them, I show them who I am, and how nice and funny I can be. And he had a lovely explanation as to why I chose to ignore conflict at work. He thinks it could be because of my age; as we grow older we mature as a person too. We evolve. Earlier, when I had a sharp tongue, I was younger and brash. Now, I’ve mellowed down. I guess I could agree with him to a great extent. Besides, I’ve always been an old soul. I was way too mature for my age even in my teens. As for my issue with myself at work, his simple two cents was to answer what were the consequences if I spoke out, or continued to ignore it; could I deal with it, could I do away with the arguing?
That helped to some extent.
To come to think of it, perhaps a lot of it has to do with the way I was brought up. My sister and I were sent to the hostel to study on our own. At an early age we learnt to be independent and responsible. Our parents would sit us down and remind us about our duties as a scholar and why we should stay away from the distraction called love. To add to that, our socio-cultural beliefs those days considered love and attraction almost as a no-no. Perhaps, subconsciously my mind always associated being in the company of the opposite sex in a relationship other than as a friend, as something negative; and I avoided this dearly. However, the tomboy that I always was, I was always surrounded by boys which led to me being someone who was always comfortable talking with men and strangers. Funny enough, most of best buddies are men, and I strike conversations easily with strangers in my travels too. But of course, just as my friend observed, I pretend; at times I use my shell for people I just am not interested being with, at other times I appear to be casual and easy going with people who I know are with me just for a while, and some times I act cold with others who I feel want to control me. At work I act jovial and good-natured so that everyone else finds it easy to mix around with me and don’t consider me as arrogant, but the truth is I could do without talking for hours or days on my own for I love being by myself; I’m actually a serious and slightly philosophical person who likes discussions and intelligent talk.
The real me is of course a little bit of all- this and that- what I am is an extroverted-introvert. Family and friends who really know me know that I like my space, can be harsh and direct at times but actually prefer to be polite, and am funny and gentle too. I try to improve and become a better person each year, but just a better version of ‘me’, along with my warts and all.
You just need to gain my trust to have the best of me.
P.S.: Am I really an idiot with the way I am at work these days, or am I just growing up?!