I caught up with an old friend recently and we had a long phone conversation, at the end of which she said, “It’s so weird, I feel like you’ve changed so much, and yet somehow you haven’t.”
It’s not the first time I’ve had something along those lines directed at me. That made me think of change and balance and who I am vs. how I project myself to the people around me.
I know I’ve spent a good chunk of my life trying to fit into one compartment or another and I always found that whenever the scales tipped too far toward one extreme, I started to feel less and less like my real self. At various points in my life, I was the nerd, the rebel, the athlete, the artist, the bully, and the bullied. I was an INTJ, an ENFP, an ISTP, and goodness knows what else some Myers-Briggs assessment told me I was. It was a never-ending dance up, down and across all kinds of scales.
What does that mean, though? Am I weak of character? Perhaps. I don’t know. There are things I believe in very strongly, but I’ve also often entertained/contemplated alternatives. I don’t think I was ever really a “hardcore [something]” for long.
Sometimes I think people tend to over-compartmentalize everything. Identities, beliefs, personalities, emotions, politics, lifestyles, etc. If you’re not one thing, you have to be another. And if you are that one thing, then you’re expected to throw yourself wholeheartedly into preserving it. You have to believe completely in that compartment you’ve allowed yourself to be put into and to cast aside any doubts or questions you might have nagging at the back of your mind. You always have to stand unwaveringly for something, in any context. In doing so, you’re excused from trying to take on new perspectives. You tell yourself you’re being “principled”.
This is supposedly what gives life direction. It’s also what causes so much stress, isn’t it?
Well, I’m just going to leave that thought hanging because it’s not even what I meant to blog about. Lol.
My main update was this: I’m finally going to Russia! Tickets have been booked for a 2-week trip this summer, insha Allah. This means we’re back to being broke but… oh well. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from co-managing my own household, it is that we are more resilient to the ebb and flow of financial security than we think.
Just gotta have faith.