Monday 31 May 2004

i gotta be me

It's time once again for Ed n' Martine's May Monkey:

When we are not ourselves: describe a time when you were "out of character."

It could be a time when you stuck your neck out farther than you thought you would dare, or a time when you "posed" as someone you were not.

What defines our "character," and when do we let ourselves step outside of it?

How many times are we conscious of not entirely being ourselves? In small ways, we change our behaviour for certain situations: job interviews, meeting your partner's family for the first time, speaking to the Big Boss, on the job (particularly if you work with the public), on the first date, and when we're online. We choose what we want to reveal, and we alter how we behave around others. In this respect, I "step out of character" almost every day.

If I was really being my true self, I would show up to work with no makeup on and in my pyjamas. I would spend 50% of my day working, and the other 50% doing other things like sitting out in the sun and playing with my dog. In fact, I'd show up to work maybe three days a week because frankly, life is too short to spend it in front of a computer in a business park. I would tell people when they were really, truly, honestly being idiots. I would tell people more often how fantastic they are and how happy they make me. I would feel okay about spending a day doing nothing. I wouldn't really care that the dishes aren't done, there's a pile of laundry in the corner of our bedroom, and there's a bit of dog poo in the garden. I would sing along to whatever's playing on my headphones while I work. Loudly and with wild abandon.

This isn't to say that the real me is being suppressed in a negative way or that my life is a miserable charade. It's just that so few people know everything about me, warts and all. I kind of like it that way. And I'm sure my workmates appreciate the fact that I don't burst into song throughout the day.

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