Hang on a minute - I didn't come on here to write about my hair!!! Not at all. I was going to write about some much more philosophical and intelligent stuff to do with multiple personalities!
So, I was thinking the other day about my different selves. Now I'm wondering whether I've actually written all about this before. Mmm. Well, no matter. I'll write about it again.
I was thinking about how the world sees us, and how that doesn't necessarily correspond with the way we see ourselves. I can remember a lot of people from the year above me at senior school, but hardly any from the year below. But I would not expect to be recognised by anyone but my own friends from school, because the way I saw myself was as a very shy wallflower-type. I've always been pretty sure that I blended into the background and was all but invisible. But this may not actually be the case. When you're at senior school, you very often look up to those in the years above you, yes? They're a little bit like celebrities in the way that they seem so lofty and aloof, and the people in the lower years are in awe of them. I always assumed that the girls in the lower years (no boys at my school) looked at my friends in that way, but that they didn't notice my existence. But I was recognised by someone the other day - she was in a year below me at school. It shocked me, more than a little, because it made me think that I probably look at my teenage self in completely the wrong way. I think I remember, more so, what I felt like when I was talking to people, rather than what I actually talked about. I can remember my heart-rate accelerating during conversations, I can remember struggling to get my words out, I can remember my cheeks flaming, I can remember wanting the ground to swallow me up, I can remember walking away from someone knowing that I had just humiliated myself into the dust by stumbling over a sentence about simple directions to the school office! But perhaps what I don't remember, and should, is that I didn't really stumble over my words all that much, that I only felt those feelings because I was afraid of sounding like an idiot, but that I actually never did sound like one. Perhaps I should remember that I often managed to hide my true feelings of absolute terror and mortification most of the time, and that perhaps no-one ever really guessed exactly how shy I was. I was chatting to a friend from Uni a few months ago and mentioned how I'd been the shy retiring type when I was in Aberystwyth, and he just about fell off his chair laughing, because he didn't remember me that way at all. To some people I came across as confident! Confident!! Me!!!
I have bags of confidence now, but I never really felt sure of myself then. I mean, I was much less shy at Uni than I'd ever been before, and remember thinking things like 'this is it, I'm really not shy anymore, I've done it!' But since then I've grown in confidence unbelievably, since having my children and feeling the need to have my voice heard and having things in my life that are important enough to fight for. I can't think of a situation in which I wouldn't be able to speak up if I wanted or needed to now.
But I was also thinking about different aspects of our personalities that have nothing to do with shyness. We change ourselves - probably subconsciously most of the time - depending on who we are talking to, don't we? I mean, not everyone does, of course. There are lots of people who pride themselves on always being the same with everyone. I'm not one of those splendid people - but I enjoy trying on different Lindas. I like that my accent changes ever so slightly when I'm talking to my friends from different parts of the country/world. I like that Sarah-jane makes me talk in ever such a slightly more posh accent :) I like that I'm very broad Northern when I'm talking to my grandad Wilf and my grandma Freda. I like that I get a little bit Welsh when I'm in Wales, and a little bit Scottish when I'm in Scotland. And when I lived in the US I perfected my generic American accent! I like that when I'm talking to certain mums in the playground I behave myself and act like a respectable mummy, but when I talk to other mums in the playground I'm very naughty and act like a teenager. I like that when I'm with Kev or Noomski I am almost completely myself. I like that when I'm with my dad I turn into a school pupil again and ask him lots of questions about plants and The Nature as if he's my science teacher :) I like that when I'm with my mum I get to talk about all the stuff that no-one else wants to listen to! Different Lindas for different people. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It's not about not being true to myself, it's about being comfortable with the different aspects of my personality, and being happy to suppress some of them from time to time, safe in the knowledge that I can let them out to play later.
The other side of this though is that people think they know you inside out, when in fact they don't really know you at all. Ah-ha! Some people might think I'm lovely, but I can be as bitchy as anyone. Some people might think I'm probably not worth talking to because I don't seem to have much to say, but I'm actually just watching them because I find them fascinating and don't feel the need to talk much myself. Some people might notice that I'm watching them, and might be a bit disturbed by my fascination with them, and maybe even a little worried that I'm going to stalk them, but I might actually just be staring into the space where their face happens to be because I'm finding their conversation really boring! Some people might think you're very stupid because you once said something that was factually incorrect. Some people might think you're very clever because you've used a few big words in conversation with them. Some people might think you're ignorant because you ignored everybody and scowled a lot when you dropped the kids off at school one morning, but you might have just had a headache and a lot on your mind. Some people might think everything's rosy in your life because you smile all the time, and always have supportive things to say to everyone, but really you might be depressed as anything and just not want anyone to know. The point here being that no-one really ever knows what's going on inside someone else's head, and aren't we clever beings that we can be thinking things that have absolutely no correlation with what our facial expressions are saying? (That's a very convoluted sentence, sorry!) It doesn't mean that we're being two-faced though - we're perfectly entitled to hide part of ourselves from everyone else if we want to.
I think I've exhausted that particular complicated topic for now. I have achieved absolutely no clarity on the subject of multiplicity in personalities. Anyone else want to say anything?