Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Know Yourself

“Who are you? ” said the Caterpillar.

Alice replied, rather shyly, “I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

“What do you mean by that?” said the Caterpillar sternly. “Explain yourself!”

“I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir,” said Alice, “because I’m not myself, you see.”

“I don’t see,” said the Caterpillar.

In my profile I say that I’m a whole lot of things that shouldn’t fit together. I have so many varying interests, so many contradictory parts, just a very complex personality. Often the things have no relation to one another but I like the kind of diversity I have in my life. There's something for everyone in me, in my 'personality'. For all my structure and need to be in control, there is no single box to categorize me with.

I'm never really sure why people are attracted to me. My disconnect is so normal for me that I simply don't see what other people see. And I don't understand why people are attracted to the things that they are concerning me.

People take one look at me out in the real world and might think “Goth” or “Artsy”. If they manage the gumption to talk to me and realize I’m also “Athlete” and “Rocket Scientist” they’re initial conception of who I probably was is shattered. But then if I get to know them intimately, I also tend to reflect who they are as well.

I have sort of a paradoxical complex concerning the fact that I tend to mirror and project what people want (what I think they want); even if it's not something I would normally want doesn't that still make me the kind of person that likes to be something that other people want? So do I like the things I don't really like after all? On some meta level I think the answer is yes. But even then the ultimate issue comes back to wanting something for myself. I do recognize that the reason I probably reflect what others want to see, is that so people will stay with me and I gain their company, their affection, and their love in the process.


I also find it easier to "be myself" when I have a role I know I'm supposed to play. At work I'm "an engineer". I know how I'm supposed to behave, I know how I'm supposed to act, I know what I don't want to project and bring into focus, so it's easy for my to tailor myself and slip into a role.

Just me on my own? Does personality exist when there is no one around to see it? Does it mean anything if there is no interaction? When I'm alone I'm creative, or quiet, I read, or I cook, or I do any number of things to keep me busy but I don't have anyone to act on or see me. I'm just me focused on the motions I choose to be going through. Hm. Does this constitute personality?

The things I like are certainly a part of me. But who I am can be so fluid that I don’t always feel like I know all of me in the context of just myself, because often who I am is found in the people that I am surrounded with.


  1. I've always felt about me the same way you talk about yourself. I also have many seemingly contradictory interests. My conclusion is the we are all very complex beings. We can jump from one interest to another without any apparent connection but a small synapse inside the deepest side of our brain that makes it logical to us and no one else. Cool post!! I'm a new follower.

    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

  2. This is a good post. I am such a proponent of being who you are...though also realize that we're all multifaceted and can be very eclectic. But I think there's a core of our soul that remains constant, don't you (the ethics, morals, core beliefs etc.)
    Rhia from Five Minute Piece for Inspiration (about # 787 on A through Z list)

  3. IMO we each have personalities because we are persons, and are not just a big blank when we are alone. How we react to others around us, shows our various facets of that personality, because we do react to stimuli. When we are alone, we are still reacting to the stimuli that are present. Reading - react to story, watching tv- reacting to what we see, etc. No one exists in a vacuum. No one is a nonentity. They may feel like one, but it doesn't make them one. Very interesting post. Best regards to you. Ruby

  4. It's good to be unique..that's the way God made you! I love being different than the crowd. Enjoy the remainder of the Challenge...

  5. You sound like a really interesting person, and I'm really sorry you dropped out of the challenge. Would have liked to see more posts from you.

  6. Ultimately, each of us has to be who we are, not what others want us to be. Disregarding the aforementioned, we become puppets dangled by various puppet masters.

  7. Hello, Fellow Challenger, from #398 - aka Rockin'Chair Reflections! What you are experiencing is what everyone else does -- we are a part of all whom we come in contact with and take away that which we think is the best, through making it a part of ourselves. Others do the same from you. We also have a tendency to fulfill what we think others want us to be so that we are many different people within our lifetimes -- living lives totally different from what we would if with another. Sorry you dropped out of the Challenge.