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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Both Sides Now

I have such a fascination with life, and hopefully it shows in everything I do, say, and create. It always strikes me how unpredictable and difficult life can be, and how we really, truly only have ourselves. For me, I know I have me, and some people I can count on the most, like my mother, father, brother, and sister. I know they have to and want to love me and care about me and my wellbeing, because they feel tied to me through blood and familial relation.

As much as I absolutely value the connection of friendship, and how I recognize that without my closest and even farthest friends I would not be who I am today, friendship is so fucking fleeting. They end over the smallest of things, or end quietly and you didn’t even notice. A lot of times, I find myself running away in friendships, blocking and unblocking them on Instagram, removing their photo on my lockscreen, avoiding eye contact or snapchats. And it’s so much harder to not care about people because of social media. Social media is fucked up in that sense. I want nothing more than to have some people out of my life. But the kid who falsely accused me of raping him in high school just updated his relationship status on Facebook, and my ex roommate posted a cute picture of the room she redid when I left. It’s. So. Hard.

And I was just saying today that I need to do things alone. I am creative when I’m by myself and I am more myself when I am alone. I can look at things differently when I’m alone and am fully immersed in my own voice and thoughts. I watch the videos and movies I want to watch, I pick and choose what I want to wear regardless of what others may think and what I want to listen to and not have to worry about who doesn’t like rap music.

Another part of me is always like Who are you kidding, you need humans to survive. And I know that. I know I am so reliant on human interaction. I love it and I thrive off of it, and I love making friends and seeing people’s posts on Facebook and VSCO. I love knowing what others are doing because half of it is curiosity and insecurity and the other have is just gathering genuine inspiration.

But then I get a mean text, or a side glance at the dining hall table, or an unanswered snapchat chat, and everything changes. I see the red minus symbols next to their heads like I’m playing Sims. And everything changes. I go back into my hole and I listen to Frank Ocean like it’s eighth grade all over again. Then I discover new parts of me and enter the real world ready to repeat the cycle all over again.

But this is also when I am most vulnerable. When I am all alone I feel fully powerful in a completely vulnerable way, like my soul is standing naked at an open window during a winter storm. And this kid came over last night, we ate chips and drank and talked about our childhoods, and I forgot what it was to feel like this. It’s such a thrill but also makes me want to cry myself to sleep. And that’s when I realized that that is love. Not love in the traditional let’s-get-married, we’re-soulmates sense, but the hey, I love life and so many other people do too and we all experience it different ways love. The kind of love that recognizes Manhattan and Philadelphia as someone’s childhood cities instead of Manhattan and Boston. And that’s the best way to think of it. Yeah, you might not have gone to concerts in Philadelphia on the weekends, but you did go to the Met, and so did he, and you both donated $1 like bad patrons and stared at the art like you were trying to become it.

Love is the vulnerability I feel turning on music I was too afraid to listen to because it reminds me of my old suitemate that I didn’t let myself have feelings for. Love is thinking of the three instances you have watched Pepperoni Playboy with people; one with Amanda on a senior snow day falling asleep, one with Olivia in Peter’s bed high off your ass, and one at 2 a.m. with a boy from New Jersey wearing olive green pants. Love is life and connection and disconnecting for a while and not always having to bring things full circle, because you know that the universe will do that for you and it will fill you with awe and raw emotion. Fascinating.