One of the greatest female songwriters of my generation, Alanis Morissette once wrote:
I’m free but I’m focused; I’m green but I’m wise; I’m hard but I’m friendly baby
I’m sad but I’m laughing; I’m brave but I’m chickenshit; I’m sick but I’m pretty baby
All humans learn to develop multiple personalities over time, in order to be able to fully participate in society without being ostracised. Or arrested.
For example, you wouldn’t speak to your mum with the same voice you use whilst watching a particularly exciting football game in the pub. Nor would you rely on your assertive and dry work persona if you were enjoying some special time with your significant other (unless you’re into all that).
Essentially, we all must become social chameleons, able to don different masks at different times, in order to get by. However, we are also multifaceted in our internal world. There’s good and bad in all of us, destined to experience the perpetual battle dance of yin and yang in our heads.
Sometimes it just feels good to have a bit of a double
standard life. Like little rebellions against who we think we ought to be.
These are just some of my conflicting personalities. See if you recognise yourself in there:
1. The gym bunny V the rock chick
I’ll go for a 10k run, and follow up my stretches with a cigarette. I’ve even been known to take vitamins with a beer. I’ll buy tonnes of organic veggies, and cook them all with some pasta and a nice cheese sauce. I meditate and then spend three days and nights in a drunken sleep deprived state at a festival. The gym bunny in me knows what I need to do to be in optimum health, but the rock chick in me is always fairly insistent that I have fun on a regular basis.
2. Mama earth V the trash queen
The earth and all of her inhabitants are on my mind often. Stories of big businesses destroying vast areas of rainforest and native creatures horrify me, and I’m always pretty vocal about the indisputable fact that we need to seriously invest in clean energy immediately, if not sooner. Trash queen frequently forgets to recycle, wastes food, uses huge amounts of hot water, and drives solo to work. Every day.
3. The judge V the judge
People with massive prejudices rile me. I can’t abhor fussy eaters. Daily Mail readers are so judgemental. Those who lean to the far right politically are judgemental bigots. Fearful people who don’t travel are lame. Like so many others who claim to be non-judgemental, I am guilty of horrendous amounts of negative judgements against people on a daily basis.
You can call it many names: being two-faced; hypocracy; multiple personality disorder (on a bad day), but I think the thing here is balance. No one could maintain a singular outlook forever, even during their alone time.
I’m sure even the Dalai Lama probably enjoys the odd naughty joke. Maybe even Kim Kardashian will one day surprise and delight us all by hosting a fascinating TED talk about the possibilities of quantum computers. Maybe not.
No one can claim to be 100 percent good, nor can a human ever be said to be 100 percent evil. We all contain a bit of Darth and we all contain a bit of Yoda. And to repress either force does no one any good.
So I say: let your evil twins out once in a while. Enjoy all of your characters for the texture and intrigue they add to the story of your life. Just not all at once. You’ll freak people out.