Friday, September 23, 2016

Who we aspire to be: self analysis from a hashtag

There is a social media challenge going on, "describe yourself in 3 fictional characters." Now, as I pretend/attempt to understand and function in today's social world (I normally fail at this but am getting "better"), I decided to join the masses. I picked my 3 characters with little thought, made up a photo collage, posted it to Instagram and called life good. Here was the finished result:

Everything was great. I had participated in the great social experiment. Perfect. Right?

Not so much.

As soon as I posted the picture I thought, "Well, that isn't right." Because, while these 3 characters describe a par of me, they are hardly the most accurate representation of my personality or life. If they were, my picture would look a lot more like this:
Or, maybe like this:
Or this:
Or even this:

There were plenty of more accurate representations that might describe who I am as a person, both in groups and in individual personalities, so why was it that I chose the original 3? What was it about Francie Nolan, Fred Burkle, and Trance Gemini that led to me choosing them to describe who I am?

It is because they are all characters that, while they may not be exactly who I am now, they are characters that best describe the parts of myself that I cherish. They are each a reflection of some part of my best possible self. They all have their demons (some quite literally), but they rose above them, stayed true to themselves, and ultimately, for the most part, managed to remain positive and hopeful. 

I am not always like that. I get bogged down under the intensity of life, I dwell on the past. I engage in self-destruction and self sabotage. I battle with my inner demons. I deny myself happiness. I rush into situations. I think too much and not enough. I am sarcastic, pessimistic, and sometimes quite cynical. But despite all these things that I am, it is not who I want to be. It is not the part that I think of when I describe myself. 

I want to be positive. I want to see the best in people. I want to trust that people will make decisions for the greater good or have the courage to confront the people who do not. I want to help people, encourage them, believe in them. I want to allow my imagination to run freely. I want to overcome my past. I want to dream big. I want to rely on my friends. 

My choices were  not reflections of who I am (while I do share traits, there are others with whom I have more in common) but projections of who I wish to be. 

Perhaps social media is good for more than just cat pictures after all...

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