THE DUPLEX CHRISTMAS SOLILOQUY
Ego: This Christmas, I was left with even less to look up to. Before, there was interesting T.V about pale faces and white icy Christmases… with fat bearded men that somehow made it down thin chimneys to deliver gifts. These days, there is still T.V about these things, I think the real thing I went and lost was my sense of humor, interest or for want of a more interesting synonym, empathy (which in this case would mean my ability to enjoy Christmas by pretending I was one of those guys on T.V). That’s probably because I’m two thirds grown up now. Life has become much less about rainbows and unicorns. I think now, I’m noticing the contrast in Christmas between Christmas T.V and my reality. Where there are snowmen, snow fights and crazy colds, I have dust, more dust and a crazy haziness.Maybe that’s why I have less to look up to. Or maybe it’s because I have been caught up in all the self-discovery quagmires that mire the beauty of growing into manhood. Of both possibilities I like the latter better. So I have decided it is the case.
Among all the discoveries of self being made around me, I have begun to see a pattern. Majorly, there are two metals being mined, each believed to be worth more than the other, one seemingly the outright favorite, the other the upsetting underdog. The first metal of self being sought is quite the favorite in my opinion. The gold rush of all self-discoveries really. The Social Animal. The sunshine yellow over energetic that “everybody” loves and wants to hang out with. The second metal of self-discovery is the glorified misfit. The weirdo that never knew what to say or when to say it. People like this simply could not follow social convention, for whatever reason. With time, and crucially confidence, such people can become the new cool. A fresh breathe of mystery from the regular always-in-your-face minglers. I have decided that I am part of the latter. My only problem with existing there is that, I find existing there in itself an irony…
…no, wait, I did want to say something before that…what was it? Yes! It’s that you really don’t realize something won’t fit till you have tried fitting it would you? Therefore, I humbly submit (I’m being sarcastic, humility is something I’m incapable of), that all misfits have sought the gold rush of social extroversion before. Only, they did not find it and stumbled onto something else, or began to regard something they’ve always had as valuable — thus the glorification of being a misfit.
…back to what I was saying about an irony. Most cool misfits consider themselves anomalies, unorthodox, unconventional or any number of similar names.The problem with that is, it means you should be as dissimilar as possible to any large group of people. With so many people declaring themselves unconventional these days, there begins to be a pattern of similarity in their uniqueness. Makes me wonder sometimes how many good laughs in a day God has at us. An unconventional who is unconventional in a conventional way? I’d hate it, very much, to be someone like that. So, thanks to my unconventionally Ghanaian (and yet quite, emphasis on quite, conventionally American) education that Ashesi is giving me, and my unconventionally unconventional Design teacher, Augustus Richardson, this Christmas, I have been asking myself a personality design question for my new self in the new year — How might we (all three parts of me) become unconventionally unconventional?
Alter Ego: Tsk tsk tsk. You have spoken like a true you. First off, Christmas isn’t about snow and Santa Claus and whites. It’s about humility and love and grace and salvation. Christmas is about a savior called Christ. And why would you refer to Caucasians as pale faces, like they were referred to in Pocahontas? Don’t tell me you are still angry with them after reading Olaudah Equiano and the African Writer’s Series. Learn from Mandela.
Ego: Who? Sorry I’m interrupting but I don’t think Mandela is such a great guy anymore. An overwhelmingly majority black South Africa revolting into a significant threat to the approximately 8.9% white population. A respected black freedom figure released at the other end of his life, who begins to preach forgiveness. Too convenient. The forgiven minority Boers still poses majority of South Africa’s wealth.
Alter Ego:That is quite a reckless evaluation of a balance you may not understand. Nonetheless, I’d have to respond to that later. For now I’d like to know how all this relates to Christmas… or whatever idea of it you have. You don’t have to imagine a white Christmas to enjoy a Christmas. We can create our own Christmas traditions here and make them look amazing to everyone else. It’s true that at this point of the year, many of our peers are introspective, considering the passing year, considering their own lives through it. But I feel your descriptions of self are too condensed. There are any number of in-betweens between the two extremes you have mentioned. I think you were simply being typically selfish in your evaluation of self because he belongs to one category and considers the other a rival category. Everything and everyone else in-between, you are teaching him not to care about. And, not every misfit has tried to fit before. Sometimes you know a screw won’t fit down a particular thread by just looking at it. Some people have always known they could never fit in with “normal” people, though I must say those would be very few and very early-on self-assured people. I do see the irony that you have mentioned in conventional unconventionality though.
Ego: You’ve been talking long enough. Such a boring mind you have there. Well, technically you are just a part of his mind — the boring part. I’m the fun, adventurous part. You probably mentioned Christ because you are stark scared of going to hell. I know Christmas is about Christ, it’s there in the name, you knew what I meant but you just had to play the righteous one. And you are asking me how this all relates to Christmas? Remind me to add superficial thinker to your repertoire. In any case, Christmas is a period of new beginnings and new chances even more than the New Year’s celebrations. It is the point at which people realize they may just make it to the end of the year, remember that there is salvation (hope, a new chance) from all the crisis around them and have to greatest edge, room and reason to enjoy themselves silly. Tell me, doesn’t this look like a good time to regard the social fabric of our lives and decide how we want to co-exist effectively? After all we do have an obligation live peacefully with one another, no?
Alter ego: You know, you’d be such a great part of his mind if you were a bit like me, but no, you are the cause of every spike in character he has had. Thankfully he listens to me most of time. I do agree with your long and winded idea of what all this has to do with Christmas, but I have an idea of my own. Christmas is also about reconciliation, of mankind with God. We could do something like that. Me and you. More collaboration ey? What do you say? I think that would make him more unconventional in being unconventional. You give him just enough cockiness, I give him just enough humility… and viola, we have a midpoint of just-right confidence. Normal as that sounds, that would be quite an unconventional thing to have. Maybe there’s more people out there that are thinking similarly. You know? It’s not much, but it’s somewhere to start.
(In actual sense, Jooe, di3 wu ka nu di3, ma daa kraa.)