During my freshman year of college, I had a crisis. After the “boyfriend” broke up with me, I was at a loss of who I was and who I would be. Or so I thought. I found myself arguing with everyone and anyone.
“I don’t know who I am,” I once said to a friend.
She calmly imed me back, “Just take bits and pieces of people and be that someone.”
And so I did. I wanted to be a performer, so I embodied the spotlight-loving persona. I wanted to be a designer, so I took designy way of speaking. I watched, I observed, I stole.
In some way, it was just the shell. Only the building blocks of shell. And it worked. Somehow people believed that I was bubbly, extroverted, a performer.
There are times that I worry about the façade that I created. It does crumble, but I am impressed, especially so impressed when a coworker comments that I appear confident when actually internally, the confidence is not there.
A few days ago, I suddenly was at a loss. There was a power struggle in the room—one that I wasn’t planning to be part of. None of the personas that I had taken were the pieces of what I wanted to be. And then I fell back to my usual self—panicked, anxious and shy. It was horrifying.
But the moment I walked out of the room, away from the power struggle, away from the testosterone…it was better. The sun warmed me again and I chatted on the phone as if nothing had happened.