No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The sum of its parts

So I should really try and get back into doing this.  I even have a load of half written posts that I just haven't completed.  But this is the one that I feel like writing right now.

I'm pretty fucking unique.  I know that.  And that's not just me being up myself, at least not entirely, I get told this by people.  You'd be hard pushed to find someone else quite like me in the world.  And yet, I have no personality at all.  Or at least I might, but I'm not sure that I do, and I'm not sure what my personality is at the end of the day.

Perhaps I need to explain.  Like everyone, I am influenced by those around me, and I adjust my actions, reactions, and demeanour in social situations to fit the situation I'm in and the image I wish to present.  That's just normal.  Except I seem to do it to a much greater extent than everyone else.  Maybe it's tied to my ability to lie to everyone, including myself, so much, that it somehow influences my ability to imitate my environment, or vice versa, whichever way round, chicken and egg and all that jazz.  My personality does not exist.  It is an amalgam of every personality I have ever encountered, of all the people I have ever admired, respected, envied; every reaction is one that I have seen elsewhere, from a friend, from a character in a tv show, from a cliche.  I mix and match these and combine them one on top of the other to form a coherent, if very easily mutable whole, and somehow that makes me unique.

People who know me well will get what I'm talking about.  People who have spent a lot of time with me, or known me for a long time, and thus have met a broad spectrum of the various subsets of my friends will even be able to isolate which mannerisms, or sayings, methods of speaking or phraseology, even dress sense and tastes I have picked up from particular people at times.  I become so influenced by those around me so easily.  And yes it's natural to reflect body language, and speech patterns, in order to subconsciously align yourself with others and show your equality to them, or perhaps in other cases to subconsciously choose an overtly different set of mannerisms in order to show superiority or deference, but 5, 10 years later, I still bear certain hallmarks of people I merely passed in the street.  Many things I can tell you exactly who they belong to, some I know they're not mine but I have no idea where I get them from, and others I have no idea if they are the 'real' me, or just the remnants of a person I've forgotten.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and somehow this makes a person that people seem to like, to find interesting, to consider truly unique.  I guess in some ways, you could consider it flattering to those I envy, admire and respect, that part of them continues on in me even years after I've known them, and I'm sure some magicos could find some very fascinating prospects in that fact.  But if I could strip all these different parts of me that aren't actually me away, I'm not entirely certain there would be anything left.  I'm honestly not sure any part of my personality is me.  Not just that my own personality is heavily influenced by others, but that in reality, all I am is those other people.  In a unique combination perhaps, almost like a piece of art - up close the individual brush strokes might be somehow interesting, but its not until set amongst the myriad of others does any form of picture actually exist.  Only the initial canvas is also lacking in this case.  There is no core to set all these things against.

The environment that influences me doesn't even need to be that direct.  A few weeks ago I was talking on facebook with Terence, and when I turned round to speak to Chris, I used American pronunciation without even meaning to or noticing until Chris questioned why the hell I was speaking like that.

Sure everyone questions their sense of self every once in a while, but does everyone else go through their day thinking about how everything they do isn't them, just the channelling of some other person.  This is probably why I struggle to keep my self esteem up.  When you have nothing to hold on to as a concept of 'you', when you're just a reflection of things and people you never even chose to reflect, it's hard to believe you have much worth as an individual for any extended period of time

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