Sunday, December 28, 2014


Who am I? 

As an individual I am unique.  I am a distinct and authentic self that has changed myriad times since my birth.   

A search for my self would uncover changes in my relationships, my career, my parenthood perhaps, my mid-life, and even my senior years – all of which being outward expressions of myself (my clothes and my car and any other possessions that have tickled my fancy that I’ve bought).

All of us, at some point; desire to break free from something, to free ourselves of our parents, our spouse, our job, all in the guise of searching for our true selves.  Each of us is, indeed, a unique and complete set of complicated experiences canned in a singular self.  And no matter where we are in our lives, we are still and always experiencing something.  In a line, as long as we are quick, we are a work in progress.

Two articles in the paper today stopped me, Hair tattoo restores pride and follicles and At 43, too old to be sexy? (Regina Leader Post, Saturday, December-27-14).

The hair tattoo article is about ink, handmade from charcoal, being injected (tattooed) on follicle at a time onto a bald person’s scalp and voila … hair apparent!  Micropigmentation looks like hair and gives people back their confidence, states the tattoo artist.

In the other article Jon Hamm (Don Draper of Mad Men) says he is too old to be a really big star.  He considers his 43 years of age to be over the hill.

Both these newspaper articles suggest that how we allow ourselves to be seen and experienced by others is significant.  The fear of being found out, of being known as a fraud or a fake is very, very important. 

Well, I’m not bald and I’m not 43.  I’ve still a thick head of hair and I’m 63 and I know (finally) that quality begins on the inside.  Any search for our quality self ought to start from within through reflection and introspection, then searching without through our relationships and actions.

A search for our self, will demand searching within and without our self, and will humor both the ideas of Erik Erikson and Sigmund Freud, noted pioneers in the search for self-identity.  Erikson, a student of Freud, believed social interactions guided our behaviors; whereas, Freud, his teacher, believed biological instincts to be the driving force.  It’s not a stretch to believe that our behaviors are prompted by both theories.  And it’s not a stretch to believe that our behavior is synonymous with our personality.

Let me explain.  Our selves have both a BODY and a MIND. 

For a simple BODY definition, our living body is a continuity of physical substance, ever changing over the course of our lifetime as our body ages (in years) and grows (in girth).

For a simple MIND definition, our active mind is an imaginary substance, from which we project our mental states, our cognitive faculties, values, and beliefs.

Generally it is agreed that the male body is one of three types:  Ectomorph, Endomorph, and mesomorph.  The skinny guy is an ectomorph; the fat guy an endomorph; the muscular guy a mesomorph.

Generally it is in sexist agreement that the female body, too, is one of three types:  Straight, Pear, and Curvy.  The woman who is chunky with narrow shoulders and the big bum who is built for comfort is a pear.  The girl who is stick skinny and built for speed is a straight.  That hourglass babe with big boobs and comparatively large hips is a curvy (see Marilyn Monroe 36-24-36).   

Generally it is agreed that we are either introverted or extroverted.  Introverts are those working in the back rooms of libraries, or in the upper rooms in lighthouses. Extroverts are those working in the people service industries or in  high pressure sales. 

Introverts do not like mingling with other humans; whereas, extroverts love to mingle.  Introverts are quiet.  Extroverts are noisy.  Introverts are reserved.  Extroverts are reckless.

This is fine and good, but our real selves go beyond body and mind.  Our body and mind mixed together make up our personality.  Perhaps the numerical formula is BODY plus MIND equals PERSONALITY.

PERSONALITY is the individual differences in individual character patterns of our thinking and behaving.  Generally, it is agreed that there are mainly four PERSONALITY types:  TYPE A, TYPE B, TYPE C, and TYPE D.  (Obviously, the Abecedarians love the simplicity tags.)

TYPE A people are those who are considered controlling and impatient. “A” people are angst ridden, always agitated, and never really relaxed.  TYPE A’s are a pain in the ass.

TYPE B people are considered casual and relaxed.  “B” people are easy-going, ever-patient, and very likeable.  TYPE B’s are perceived to lack professionalism and as a result, seldom taken seriously.  

TYPE C people seem always concerned about being correct.  “C” people are detail orientated and picky, picky, picky.  TYPE C’s are those little dog bosses that continuously nip at your ankles.

TYPE D people love to follow routine. “D” people are most comfortable doing the same things over and over again.  TYPE D’s are on snooze dial and are boring, boring, and more boring.

Who am I?   

To close my usual oneversation by being my narcissistic self, I shall answer the opening question that I posed at the beginning of this blog entry.

I am what I seem to be as continuously depicted in my blog each week.  Firstly, I am a high school guidance counselor, and have been plying this trade for over twenty-five years.  Working in a high school keeps me a-go-go and energized. 

Secondly, I am a sessional university instructor of Psychology, and have pretended to be an academic for over fifteen years.  Teaching at the university keeps me studying and writing.

Thirdly, I am a private practitioner for Psychological counseling/consulting, and as of late, HYPNOTHERAPY.  Being a hypnotherapist keeps me mysterious.

Fourthly, and most importantly I am a guitar and pencil busker.  Few things for me are more pleasing and adventurous than strumming and singing solo on a downtown sidewalk, and hearing the constant clunking of coins as they are tossed into my open guitar case.  Equally delightful is penciling a stranger’s portrait onto my sketchpad, then wrapping it with a rubber band and exchanging it for a ten dollar bill.  (Ofttimes I think that my guitar and pencil busking stories are designed complex Aesopian tales to promote my Psychology practices with my sidequest authority.)

I do know for certain that to be employed in all of the above does take stamina (I work out in the gym every day) and extroversion (I do need to communicate and perceived by my consumers to be likeable).   



My searches for self in all of the above activities, in all the right places, make me happy and who I am.  And … 
It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy (Lucille Ball).  

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