I like to think that I’m a pretty normal person, for the most part. I have a public life and a private life. I am in introvert, so my private life can be very private at times and there is a private side to my private life. By that, I mean, there is a side of me that only I know about. But that is probably true for everyone.
My private life includes close family and friends. They know things about me that coworkers and casual acquaintances do not. Sometimes, pieces of information will carry over from private into public but it is rare and not often repeated. But the private side of my private life are those thoughts, ideas, and beliefs that only I know about. There is nothing unusual about these things nor are they illegal, immoral, dangerous, or, for the most part, even that controversial. But these are things that perhaps differ from the thoughts and ideas that people who have known me for a very long time would assume that I have.
As an example, let’s say that all my life I have loved the color orange. Everyone in my life knows that I love the color orange. They don’t think about it often but if someone were to ask them what my favorite color is, they would say orange. But, what they don’t know is that over the past several years, I have slowly learned to love the color blue more than orange. Sometimes, I haven’t told my family and friends that my new favorite color is blue simply because it is not that important or because it never comes up in conversation any more. Other times, I am reluctant to update close family and friends because I feel that it would disrupt their long-held view of me. Perhaps I am afraid of disappointing these people. Or, perhaps I’m not yet fully confident in my views and would like to leave open the option of changing my mind. Of course, being an introvert, there are many times that I simply don’t want to talk about my thoughts, my ideas, my beliefs, or me.
The difference between what people assume are my thoughts, ideas, and beliefs and my actual views can lead to some frustration. I feel that I’ve grown as a person but I do not always feel that I can show that growth to the people that I care about the most. However, if I met a stranger on a bus and knew that they would in no way ever interact with anyone close to me, I would be more likely to tell them my true views.
Perhaps, I will continue to grow as a person and ultimately be comfortable in showing everyone my true self. Until then, I apologize if I sometimes appear to be uncomfortable during a conversation. There is probably a battle going on my head about how much to reveal about myself. And, the side that wants to tell you everything always loses.