I am a color person.
I don't know why, but I finally realized this tonight, sort of the same way I finally realized that a "latergram" is an Instagram photo that you post a while after you take it. I always kind of knew this, but something about the concept finally clicked with me tonight. I am a color person. I wear bright colors because I like looking at them myself and I feel beautiful in them. when I look at a work of art, the first thing I am drawn to is the color. I love having a streak of blue in my hair because it inevitably adds interest. I love colors.
when I was deciding what I wanted to wear for our show last night, I started out with a black-and-white beetlejuice-esque number, but it just didn't feel right. maybe I would have worn it back when I was more into the rockabilly scene here in town, but now... I need color. I need bright.
maybe I'm thinking about this too much, but I've been seeing lots of signs lately. I feel like I'm being pointed in a certain direction. I know it sounds crazy sometimes when people say that but I really think it's true right now. or maybe I just want to believe it is.
I am at a point in my life where I'm finally starting to take ownership of my relationship with music. I'm going places with it that I never even realized I wanted to until I got there. but what about my relationships with people? I have a habit of meditating before every show just to clear my mind and channel creative energy. tonight I had the thought that I should start meditating before any big social gathering. I have a habit of severely overanalyzing my interactions with people. why can I not just enjoy their company and talk to them without picking apart and/or planning everything I want to say? I've always chalked it up to being a personality trait, something I have no control over and I just have to accept. But is there something I can do about it? Is there some mantra I can chant in my head or an internal prayer or just a daily practice that will make me less conscientious?
you know what's funny? I just used a thesaurus to help me decide on the word "conscientious..." I was originally thinking "meticulous," but that just didn't sound right. but then when I looked up the word conscientious I ended up on the Wikipedia page about the Five Factor Model of personality traits. maybe the word for my social insecurity is really "neuroticism." I think I'm sort of a weird stew of personality traits.
openness to experience: I wanna say that I am open. when I read/hear/witness new ideas, I'm not as put off by them as I used to be. I've changed a lot over the years in that respect, and I'm quite proud of that actually, though there is always this little pang that makes me feel like I'm letting my parents and family down when I say that. I respect their steadfastness, though it can be a bit irritating at times... they are all still going to a church they hate just because it's what they've always known. I was supposed to lector at my church tomorrow but I got it covered because I'm going tubing. At first glance this may seem like a selfish thing, but you want to know how I know it's the right thing to do? because Rachel has been feeling like shit lately and I want her to have some time to relax and get away for a minute, so we put together this tubing trip. instead of going to church and reading a scripture that I felt no resonance with (I was able to look at it beforehand), I opted instead to spend a day hopefully helping my best in the world feel a little bit better. I still keep wondering if maybe God will send a thunderstorm and destroy our plans because I didn't go to church. my concept of God is still rooted in fear. but I don't want to think that way anymore. I have plans on Tuesday to have coffee and catch up with one of my church friends and a former priest at the church I've been attending, who offered me a great deal of inspiration until she was forced to resign due to a series of circumstances that were beyond her control. to me right now, getting coffee with them seems like more of a spiritually gratifying experience than going to church. I'll probably end up talking to them about a lot of the same things I am talking about right now.
conscientiousness: so here's where the discord lies I suppose. I am a very conscientious person, and that doesn't always mesh well with my growing openness. I don't want to let go of my conscientiousness because I value it. I just wish there was a way for me to manage it a little better. HAH, see? I even want to manage my own conscientiousness. would you call that meta-conscientiousness?
extraversion: I think it's safe to say I'm an introvert, though I have been practicing more extroverted tendencies, especially since I've become a teacher. and I really do enjoy going out and seeing the people I this town that I've come to love, but it's exhausting sometimes to interact with people. like today, I went to a show at an art gallery here in town and the folks there were planning on going to a bar after the show. but I just felt like, while I gained some perspective from talking to them that I probably wouldn't have gotten just from sitting alone at home, by the end of it all I wanted to do was take some time to sit by myself and reflect, just like I'm doing right now. i think I'm learning to balance the two of these a lot better than I used to, but I've still got some growing I want to do.
agreeableness: this is another one I want to figure out more. I think a source of confusion for me with this one is that others seem to find me agreeable while i see myself as being much more analytical/detached. it's very strange.
neuroticism: this is another one I haven't thought of very much. I think when people see me performing on stage they get the impression that I'm very confident, but in reality I am a very sensitive/nervous person. if someone criticizes me, I tend to assume that there is some animosity behind it, or I might even misread a harmless comment as an insult. this is something I'd definitely like to work on but I'm not sure how.
how can I be open when I am also so afraid?
so we get back to this idea of meditating before social gatherings. the closest I've ever come to a solution for these personality conundrums is to recognize the unity of being human. that though we are all separate vessels with separate intricacies about the way that we tick, we are all part of something greater than ourselves, something that unifies us. my tendency to overanalyze social interaction is certainly rooted heavily in an addiction to the self and to the ways that other people affect that self. if I can instead become more aware of how connected I already am to every other person just by virtue of being human, of being an expression of whatever greater power or divinity binds us together, then maybe I'll be a little less neurotic. instead of being self-conscious, maybe there's a way for meta-conscientiousness to reconcile my attentiveness and organization with a growing sense of openness--not just to ideas, but to people as well.