And his famous quote: Who am I? Who are you?
This is something I've been thinking about for a while - and, between heatstrike, allergies, and a damnable cold, I've been too exhausted to write about. Well, I've been too exhausted to do much of everything this past week. Except thinking.
Since starting the Patreon, I've felt something shift within me. Nowadays, when I look at my resumé, I don't see myself in it anymore. Yet, I am still judged by it.
I used to have a complete list of the different 'verkoopsfuncties' (=retail jobs) I had in that period of time, until someone told me: if you want to change branches, you should shorten it. It made sense. After all, retail is behind me, and I want nothing to do with it anymore. So I shortened it to this, a list of gained abilities. I still remember the reaction of one interim bureau: do you have a different resumé with a list of the jobs because my client needs to know these things.
No. No, they don't.
But, that is how I am judged: once a retailer, always a retailer. I was never offered jobs that didn't match my field experience. In the eyes of society's greater scope, I'm just a salesperson...
... even though I abhore sales.
For a long time, I have felt like I wasn't myself - like I was wearing a mask, hiding who I truly was, because I thought I wouldn't get accepted otherwise. And you know what happened?
Once I took it off and affirmed who I was and what I wanted in life, I got accepted nonetheless.
Better yet: I have found within myself the strength to never give up, even if it looks like I'm failing. So my Patreon hasn't taken off? Who cares. So I don't have many watchers/readers? Who cares! My value isn't dictated by the amount of likes/watches/reads, but by the feeling that I am doing what is right for me.
And by doing what is right for me, I create for myself the capacity to become exactly who I seek to become.
Paradoxally, being who I am requires that I wear many masks. It's something I often mention in poetry, such as this one and that one, for a simple reason: the masks are who I am. Just as every character I ever created is some part of me, for better or worse. I am a kaleidoscope - I may appear forever changing and fragmented, but that is what makes me complete.
As I told my friend Tuntalm, I feel like my soul is simply this ball of warm energy. That's the core of who I am. Whichever mask I choose to wear is only a manifestation of part of who I am.
Must be why I love the Persona franchise so damn much
Still, I will be cast in the Role of the retailer by some; to others, I hold the Role of Friend, Confidant, Pain in the Ass, Arrogant Bitch... It all works for me, as long as I remember how to stay true to who I am, to this energy that has no form, no face, no true voice, but simply is.
It sounds simple when I write about it; some days, it isn't that simple, but globally I'd say I do a good job of being myself as long as I hang onto my values and beliefs.
I often get thinking about how hard it must be for other people to do the same.
Because, if I am cast into a Role, surely others are in the same position as me. Maybe they do a better job than I do (thinking of a friend who did manage to change job branches successfully), maybe they have it worse. Maybe they don't care. Or maybe they're not aware of the Role they play.
As with everything, once you start taking matters into your own hands, Life has a way of giving you opportunities. Whether you believe in a god, another metaphysical entity, or just yourself, life does change once you consciously decide that it must. It may not change the way you'd like it to, or even in a comprehensible way. But it changes, evolves, and adapts.
I do believe in a form of fate. Seen from my viewpoint, it's kind of hard not to when you've loved Dragons since you were a kid (without anything building up to it except for crocodiles and carnivorous dinos), and had an affinity for words and language since basically birth. I do think the latter may have something to do with my parents being interested in literature, much as I never quite saw that, but the seeds were there. Life has had a way of leading me in unexpected directions, and the basis of those was almost always conscious thought.
And that is the base of my belief.
We don't get one path - one fate - but several. We still get to choose which path we take - and, along our journey, more opportunities will arise. Some may lead you back to whence you came, others may lead you further away. But you still get a choice as to which path you take.
I've chosen mine. It'll be a hard one, but it's the one that feels right. Along that path, I may still find myself making detours, but I get the feeling they'll be far smaller than how they used to be.
In this dark age, it's all the more important to be who you are. I'll admit, terrorist attacks have had a huge impact on my way of thinking: it's made me all the more aware that I was wasting my life trying to fit into a Role that simply isn't meant to be mine. It has lead to the opportunity to, at last, risk following my heart and soul. I may fail - but at least I'll get to say I tried.
I do have unwarranted faith in myself though <<
So even though I will remain cast in Roles I feel not mine, I choose to play them out my way. Even when you're given no choice in a matter, you still get to choose how you handle any given situation. It's your choice whether you make lemonade or just decide to juggle them lemons.
Or better yet,