Do you have a lot of different persona's? I am not talking about personalities... but persona's; I guess the best description I can think of is the different angles of your one personality. So while you're not actually 'not being you' to different people, you're not being 'fully you' at times!
I know we hide aspects of ourselves, and in certain situations this is appropriate; but sometimes it becomes more than this... There are silent expectations put on us (sometimes by ourselves, sometimes by others), which has required us to only show certain facets, or at least, to highlight different facets of ourselves, in some situations; sometimes this has become so ingrained in us that we're not even aware we are doing this any more.
Are you following me yet?
I got to thinking about this the other day as I went out to meet some other lovely Auckland Bloggers; the gorgeous Cat, and incredible Sammy, and the awesome Simony! In my head I am one person, and on my blog I hope I am the same - but I think my public persona has a long way to go before it catches up with these other two facets! I had great conversations in my head on the way to meeting these ladies, and altogether different conversations going on in my head once I got there... and I am afraid my public 'me' is more in-tune with this second me in my head.
Most people 'fake it until they make it', and act confident and self-assured in front of other people - they mask the 'fearful and incompetent' side, or persona. I used to do this very well myself, but since having had PND after my first child was born, and then isolating myself - I have lost, what feels like, a lot of ground. I fear whatever is going on inside my head is showing through on the outside these days. I am in the same age bracket as these ladies, I am also a much loved wife and mother, I am an adored daughter and loved friend, I have a degree, I had a great job pre-children and I have lived a full life - it may not have turned out the way I had dreamed or hoped, but that is okay. And yet I sat there feeling way out of my depth, completely incompetent and like a fraud - almost like a child trying to gate-crash their party!
Let me make this clear - this has got NOTHING to do with these lovely ladies, or that morning ... this is about ME.
I am not sure how I was perceived, but even my Mum commented on how much my confidence has been shaken this time round. I have been through bouts of depression before, I have had some rough patches in my life (as we all do), and yet none of them have shaken me up like this has. I am no longer struggling with PND, but the after-effects of it are still hanging on.
The 'real me' is hiding somewhere under all the mess, these days people are only seeing certain facets of me, and generally speaking, they're not the ones I want the public to see. But I am a bit lost - I am not sure how to find the sparkly bits again, the ones that drew people to me... the angles that I liked, that I wanted people to see - the ones that I felt expressed me the best.
Maybe one day that confidence will grow again, maybe one day those internal conversations will be positive and not negative - but until then, I will keep challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone now and again, and trust that I am a person who is worth knowing once more.