Realizing You Don’t Have a Personality (Help)

For a long time I believed strongly in astrology, and sometimes it seems like I still do. I have inclinations to believe things about people based on their birth chart. I understand that astrology can be full of errors, because people can easily mold themselves into who they want to be (which is basically the topic of this post), but I still think there is a level of truth. I see it as two types of personality: instinctive and distinctive.

The instinctive personality lies in people’s private inclinations; their first thought or reaction, the way they carry themselves when no one is looking, what they do when they are alone, their thought processes and inner dialogue. My private inclinations when first meeting someone are to assess 1) who they are as a person, 2) what they stand for, 3) if they are somehow cooler/prettier/better than me, and 4) how they carry themselves. Then I try to mirror it, relate to it, or instinctively present myself as distinctly different from them if I don’t agree with who they are.

I think this corresponds to my sun in Gemini and mercury in Gemini, or in other words, my sun conjuncts mercury. This aspect of my instinctive personality makes me want to win people over. If I don’t win someone over, I have a problem with it for several days straight. So, with my instinctive personality, I create a distinctive personality tailored to my setting or a specific person/group of people. This is why I think I find it hard to make and keep friends, especially in college.

In high school, everyone already had a reputation, so although some people definitely evolved and changed, no one really forgot who you once were. Since I couldn’t escape this, my distinctive personality had some limits, or at least some dishonesty if I was ever to present myself as something completely different than who people thought I was. In college, no one knows who I really am, and my instinctive personality really tries to use this to my benefit. For example, I met a girl wearing dirty checkerboard Vans, a Polo hat, rounded sunglasses, and an ironic graphic t-shirt at a Soundcloud rapper’s house party. I talked to her about certain kinds of music, certain kinds of people we mutually knew, concerts, city life, and hypebeasts. I could assess from the way she presented herself that these were the topics we could find common ground in. And while it seems like a normal thing I do, and it probably benefits me in the long run connecting with people, I can’t seem to get past this step.

I feel like people can tell that I’m insincere. But I really can’t help it; I have multiple personalities. Not in the concerning medical disorder way, just in the socially handicapped way. I made a friend similar to the one at the Soundcloud rapper party last year, and we Snapchatted back and forth and kept in contact. He started working at a campus restaurant, and I was unaware of it, so I ordered corn tortillas with sour cream one Tuesday afternoon wearing a preppier outfit than I usually wear and I could see the confusion in his eyes. Whenever I hung out with him I always wore clothes that matched a different personality than the one I decided to be today. The Maina that hung out with him was completely different than the caught-off-guard Maina that was ordering corn tortillas.

While I know people don’t think about it as hard as I do, I can definitely catch the drift from people that they aren’t sure what to make of me. Like I wore normal nice Connecticut-ish outfits to Spanish class a lot and this one girl from a few towns over always talked to me, and one day I wore distressed jeans, vans, and my huge multicolored Polo jacket over a sweatshirt with round sunglasses and she didn’t talk to me in class. It upsets me that I can predict how everyone else is going to act and what they might wear on any given day but I have no clue who I will be even two hours from now or even tomorrow.

I wonder if I’ll be this inconsistent for the rest of my life. Not even just with clothes; with anything. More importantly I wonder if I can ever get over my outward appearance affecting the way I treat people and life in general. I think in college it’s so hard to know who people actually are and you’re surprised a lot by what is actually going on in people’s heads. And I know here there is a culture of certain what people wear and what certain people don’t. There are groups that people fit into and I can’t bring myself to stick to any group. And that sounds all social butterfly-ish but it’s really not. In these four inconsistent and weird years people just want solid friends to rely on, and I am very liquidy and change randomly. It makes me freak out about random stuff, like I’ll get mad that my Instagram is too normal. It literally doesn’t matter and I know that.

From typing this out I learned and admitted to myself that I’m definitely unhealthily obsessed with image and sometimes it’s super detrimental, and I should probably just not care. But I’m not happy with the fact I’m inconsistent and it makes me feel inconsistent in general. I just want an identity. And I want people to see that identity and be like okay yeah I could vibe with this girl, and then be friends. It’s that easy.

I feel more like myself in private because my identity is only made up of thoughts, feelings, and daydreams/fantasies (brought to you by Psychology for Dummies). In public, I have no idea what is going on with my personality, appearance, and style. I feel like none of it is my own. It’s always reflective of what’s been inspiring me lately. I think I’m a walking blog, or mood board, or something. But not as cool as that sounds. Just a mess. How can I mold myself into who I want to be when that changes on a daily basis? I wish I could just not have a body and just be an amoeba. I would know who I was for sure. I can easily give people a spiel of who I am inside, but outside it’s a little difficult.

Maybe if I established solid friends at the beginning of freshman year, everything would be different. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Maybe this is just who I am, and I’ll never develop into anything solid. I apologize in advance.

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New Semester Resolutions

Tonight I will drive back to school. Hopefully I won’t cry at the Massachusetts border like I usually do. I could barely sleep last night, so maybe if I do cry it will be because of sleep deprivation. As much as I think New Years Resolutions are kind of pointless (at least, for me, because they’re more of intentions and I don’t like setting goals because I never accomplish them), I think that setting these intentions are important because I need to ground myself. Hopefully if you are a college student just getting back, or a high school student just ending midterms these inspire you too.

  1. Limit use of social media/your phone in general. This goes for when I’m studying, but when I’m out in public. I don’t want to use my phone in class, and I want to use my phone less on the bus. I feel constantly wrapped up in it when I should be interacting with others.
  2. Don’t freak out when something goes wrong. I am aware that I put my best effort into everything I do, and if I forget something along the way, it’s fine. I’m not perfect. Acknowledge your feelings and move on. Ask others for guidance or help if necessary.
  3. Become more flexible about eating. Between five classes, two jobs, and transfer applications, I’m going to have to become more flexible with my eating schedule. I have become reliant on consistent meals but I need to put that on the back burner as all of my responsibilities will be so demanding. Often I found myself unable to complete tasks unless I got my food, which made me procrastinate as I would spend hours at the dining hall on my phone (which will be prevented this time).
  4. Become more flexible about your appearance. There is simply not enough time in a day to pore over my closet and create an outfit. I either want to lay out an outfit the night before like I used to do in high school, or go outside in whatever I grab first. Of course, I should look presentable, but I want to be more functional and flexible when it comes to clothing choices and not put so much weight on what I’m wearing. I already wear nicer clothes than the average college student, so I’m good.
  5. Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. Maina, you don’t need that new shirt. You don’t need that pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. You don’t need a bunch of new candles or books off of Amazon. I want to put more money into experiences rather than things this semester.
  6. Leave parties if they aren’t fun. If you’re dying of boredom at a party, and feel like you have to get drunk or high just to enjoy it, then LEAVE. Who cares what your friends say. Call that Uber, take that bus, make that walk. Try not to go alone, but go if you have to. Do a face mask, watch Shameless, and go to bed.
  7. Interact with your professors regularly. Don’t be that guy that introduces yourself to the professor when they couldn’t care less, but ask your questions after class. Email them for extra office hours. Talk with them about things other than the class material. Professors are people, too, and I bet they’ll laugh at your roommate stories.
  8. Find a routine that works and stick to it. I know I already got this going at the end of last semester, but with new classes and a new job, I need to figure out what is going to work. I want to go to the gym at least four times a week, if not more, and take showers without having to walk outside immediately after (in Vermont, your hair freezes into icicles after .2 seconds outside) as often as possible.

I have a good feeling about this semester, although I don’t want to jinx it. I’m excited for my classes. I’m excited for my spring break plans. I just need to translate that excitement into some other things and I’m good.