53/300: Think about the various roles you play in your life. If you had to give up all but one, which one would you keep?
despite what i want to tell myself, the roles i play and the masks that i wear on a daily basis are not external additions to my inner self. instead, they are inner manifestations of the different components of my personality that best suit the situation i am in.
let me stop and say that when i use the term “roles,” i am thinking of two different categories: the more static, well-categorized roles like “brother,” “son,” “friend,” and “coworker” would be the first. the second is the more fluid ways in which we all change our behaviour depending on our social context at any given moment.
in both cases, i know that i emphasize and diminish different aspects of my personality so that i can “fit in,” as it were, to my surroundings. but in neither case is there a particular role or set of habits that i would give up. instead, i would like to break down the barriers that i have set for myself between all of those different roles.
there are aspects of my life where that is already the case. with my family and my closest friends i am free to be most of myself. i still make unnecessary adjustments from time to time, but that is infrequent. something to work on, but not a critical area of focus.
i think where i can make the broadest change is in those aforementioned fluid adjustments in personality that we all make depending on our immediate social context. essentially, i would like to make less adjustments. i would like to give up those micro “roles” that i adopt and discard throughout my day.
this isn’t a novel sentiment. it’s that classic phrase: “to thine ownself be true.” thanks for that one, Shakespeare. it’s a quote i’ve used in previous writing. i guess it resonates.
but is it not one of life’s penultimate goals? isn’t true comfort feeling completely at home in your own skin, and more importantly your own mind? or rather, isn’t it acting in accordance with your own morals and beliefs and being willing to sacrifice something as silly as comfort to stand by them? that’s not to say we shouldn’t continually evaluate and update those values, but if we don’t stick to them in the first place, how can we hope to refine and improve ourselves?
i guess the real goal here is to be comfortably uncomfortable. to revel in those moments where we have the option to play a role or to just be ourselves. to embrace the discomfort that comes with being true to who we are in every situation. i’ve certainly got a long way to go.
i’ll try to embrace that inner friction rather than shy away.