Once again, I am back — staying up too late to write in here. It’s like digital masochism.
I woke up this morning and had one of those “bed is really warm and comfy and outside bed is cold” moments. Too bad I had to be at work in 5 minutes.
You know, one thing that is really nice about being 25 is that I feel like I’m finally starting to get to know who I am. I think in the past my identity was so erratic and possibly dependent on who I was with. Part of the whole “people-pleasing” thing. I think that gets back to an impaired self-esteem?
I just know that when I started finally accepting myself and feeling better about being me, I started being more sure who “me” was. It’s a good feeling. Kind of like being home. Home in my head. “Where everybody knows you’re lame.”
There’s this guy named James Hillman. He’s a psychologist who’s written a few books on some of his school of thought — a lot of it is very Jung’ian in nature. A little Freud as well. The classics, you know. Anyways, one of his main focuses is that our mind is composed not of one Ego mastermind, but rather a plural commune of many personality facets. These facets represent different goals, aspirations, personality archetypes, etc.
According to Hillman, the mythos of these archetypes pre-existed the individuals — gets back to that whole “collective unconsciousness” thing — and should be personified accordingly. Instead of seeing “the part of you that hates” as a pathology or something to be ashamed of, you recognize that it’s indeed a part of who you are and try to understand it. He compares a lot of it to Greek culture vs. Roman culture. Greek culture was a polytheistic society and treated all Gods, even the lessers or the unfavorables, with reverance. Roman culture tried to unify everything under one flag and drive out all the undesirables (the barbarians).
Anyways — this counselor I had, an absolutely amazing woman named Carol, was a big proponent of Hillmanian thought. A lot of the work we did was with identifying the different facets, or “voices” as she called them (not in a schizophrenic sense, there’s no amnesiatic barriers between voices), and hearing what they have to say. I think a lot of relationships I’ve been involved with in the past have ended because I was ignoring some parts of me. When you ignore or cut off an aspect of yourself it has a tendency to be heard in other ways.
A perfect classic example is the guy who secretly has homoerotic thoughts but hides them away out of shame — it then reappears as intense homophobia or outward violence. The child full of cognitively dissonant rage towards his parents instead misdirects it to kids at school. Ignoring what we’re feeling can have strange results.
While I’ve done pretty well with communicating with the different facets in my mental pluralism, there seems to be a struggle between two dominant interests: There’s the part of me that wants to be young, have fun (drink pepsi), be single, play games, etc. Then there’s the part of me that wants to be mature, settle down, [maybe] have kids, etc.
My challenge this year has been figuring out a way to get these two diametrically opposed interests to somehow compromise. I had been going in this cycle for a year or so:
I would date someone who was “settle-down” material. This would effectively cut off my adventurous side and while that was ok in the beginning, ultimately the “voice” would start “shouting,” so to speak.
We’d break up.
Then I’d start dating someone more adventurous and exciting, but very unreliable and erratic. That would be good for a while and I’d start really desiring to settle down. We’d break up.
This only happened a few times before I recognized it as an unhealthy pattern; to my credit I never cheated on anyone.
Has anyone else had anything like this? Maybe I’m just not ready to settle down yet? I don’t know. Maybe I just need to meet the right person where I can have both of those aspects of me, my adventurous and homebound sides, my extraversion and introversion, be present. Or maybe I can find a way to work both of them into a relationship equally. Maybe some kind of potpourri of both. Hell, we’ll add some chamomile and rosemary mint in there to make it smell nice too.
Off to the bed with me.