Essays & Ideas

Conglomerate personalities

The physical reality is not the only reality. There is another, less thought of, reality that is equally real. It is created by our culture, our social paradigms and it is as real as our physical existence. We all live in multiple realities. This non-physical reality exists in our collective minds, in our culture and makes manifest in action, words, writing and so on. Ideas are intangible but very much real things and they affect the physical world constantly.

The same way thoughts shape who we are. We are not merely biological lumps of flesh – we are the sum of both the physical and the extra physical realities that makes up our world. That is how we in our psyche can be another person than we are physically. And it is no less real just because the difference is not visible to the eye. You have to look deeper to see that dimension of someone. You have to gain insight into that person to see who they really are. And by who I mean that in plural.

Because no one is just one person. I am a conglomerate of several personalities, impulses, hidden feelings and hardwired responses. I got several creative strains, curious and bold bits and pieces as well as the bad sides, as doubt and spleen (in the sense poets used to use the word). Sometimes rambling, sometimes taciturn. Sometimes the wise man, sometimes the trickster.

And I’m fluctuating – both internally and in contact with others externally. For instance, I can’t easily explain who I am. My identity is diverse but singular at every moment. Mind you, this is no weakness, it gives me strength. But as I said, it’s fluctuating. It all depends on who I am with. This range of identities doesn’t show to people, they meet the same one, and I keep a solid facade, can’t break conventions, society wants labels, clear cut and unambiguous people that are easily understood. Gradients are effectively repressed so that there is only two official colors. Who’d want a complicated society where everyone is different?

So I act very differently towards different people. I also act different when alone depending on mood and I don’t know what – I’m fluid and unpredictable. The thing that is supposed to be me, my self, I, is in fact only a control center trying to make sense of all the parts conflicting and warring. I am not one person – I am many. As we all are.

Or are we all? I’ve met so many people that never seem to change. They are very solid and unmutable. One-dimensional. They oppose change, they get upset by non-binary possibilities. I have heard a person actually say that he had done what he wanted and now only wanted every day to be the same. Someone really said that. Yes, really. So maybe we are different. Maybe some people are just one person while others are an entire menagerie. Nothing wrong with that. Celebrate diversity! Life would be simpler but rather boring if my inner crowd dispersed.

Added later: Career-wise I am constantly moving through different expressions, albeit of the same core profession. I have successfully worked as film director, director of photography, editor, photographer, graphic designer, author and lately as copywriter. I’ve won awards for both writing and directing. And people have payed me good money to work with these different expressions. I enjoy it all but tend to drift between them which makes it difficult to convince people that I am rather good at all those things. Because you can apparently be good at only one thing, just look at mr DaVinci. Irony intended. In the end it all comes down to different aspects of storytelling for me. That is my core profession. I’ve thought about calling myself a pan-medial storyteller. But no one will understand what I mean by that so maybe multidisciplinary storyteller would be better. Except for the discipline part. I defy discipline but rather enjoy to enforce it in others. But that is another story.