I am a strong personality. I take up a lot of the space in the room. I come from a long line of loud, intelligent, opinionated, talented, dominant space-takers, so I come by it honestly. I have no problem being the loud, entertaining, lifeoftheparty personality. Hell, I get paid to stand behind the bar and be exactly that, and I’m very good at it.
I don’t believe in astrology. I think it’s vague and silly and often put into terms that anyone could read into, which I find manipulative and also bullshit. But, there is something that appears in every description of someone born under my sign, (Pisces). It’s a water sign. A moving water sign, to be specific. Always changing, always in motion, not necessarily steadily.
And, while I don’t believe in astrology, and while I am a direct, take-charge, type-A sort of human, there is a strange quirk to my personality.
There is a fluidity to me. A malleability. A near-constant state of acclimating to those closest to me. An adaptability to the strong parts of other’s personalities. In my romantic relationships, I have always thought of this as being supportive of my other, but I’m coming to realize that it’s actually a more detrimental trait that might be driving me further from the heart of me. From my real voice. My real personality.
My high school boyfriend was an avid church-goer, and so I, too, became a church-goer, despite my dislike of organized religion and my lack of real belief. I dated a guy who loved fantasy novels, so I worked my way through all of Game of Thrones and half of the Wheel of Time series, despite my weariness of the looooong and exhausting descriptions of robes worn in various colors by people whose connection to the marrow of the story, I couldn’t follow. An ex of mine sold pot and made edibles, and so I found a way to be enthusiastic about weed, even though I have little to no interest in the drug. (I mean, if I want to be tired and hungry, I’ll just go work a few hours). Another guy I dated was a constantly working actor right as I was turning away from a career in theatre, but because of him, I pushed myself to auditions (which I absolutely detested) for a couple of years longer than I probably would have, had I been left to my own devices. Another ex of mine loved football with his whole heart, and so I wore a football tshirt from his alma mater, learned all the rules, knew all the names of all the players, and cared about football for the first, and only, time in my life.
I adapt to others around me. I take on parts of their personalities and make those parts my own, without realizing I’ve done it until I’m separated from the person.
There’s a scene in the dopey chickflick ‘Runaway Bride’ where Richard Gere corners Julia Roberts about how she likes her eggs cooked – because every ex fiancé he speaks to says she likes them a different way – and it happens to be how each man liked his. I haven’t seen this movie in probably a decade, or even more, but that scene has always stood out to me, because I GET it. I UNDERSTAND that level of malleability. That unconscious desire to be what your other wants, and the subconscious shifting of your own wants and likes and needs so that they align with his.
I have been doing this my whole life. It’s only now, this year, that I’ve started coming into my own about parts of me that I’ve never bothered to figure out or explore in any way. (By the way, examining the SELF is super fascinating. You can learn all kinds of crap about yourself if you take your damn ego out of it.) But it has only been now, this week, that I am choosing to root it out, and learn what it is that I actually want. What it is that I’m actually doing.
To circle it back to Julia and Richard, I’m going to figure out exactly how I like my damn eggs.