Different Choice, Different Me
Do you ever feel like you’re building your life in a vacuum?
Let me explain.
I feel like there are so many people I could be, so many lives I could lead. I could be Kate the Financial Planner. Kate the Artist. Kate the Entrepreneur. Kate the suburban soccer mum. Kate who divides her time between London and New York. Kate who’s married to a writer. Kate who’s married to a salesman.
OK fine, now that I’m saying it out loud that could be the same person but in my mind, they’re distinctly different paths that demand distinctly different Kates. A whole different me, all dependant on the career and spouse I choose.
It’s Choose Your Own Adventure and the stakes are happiness, fulfillment, and purpose.
No pressure, right?
Every time I date someone new or consider a career change I immediately imagine what kind of person I would need to be to make it work. What parts of my personality would this highlight? What would I have to put on the back burner? What would it look like to be his wife? What would it look like to work with them or to start that business? I imagine what that choice would make my life look like and design my best Kate accordingly.
I don’t know why (I’m sure my therapist would have some ideas?) but I’ve always done this.
Furthermore, I guess because I have so many interests, I tend to be something of a social chameleon. I want to make people feel comfortable (read: I want people to like me) so I’ll play up certain parts of my personality depending on who I’m with. I’ll tailor my personality to fit the relationship or social dynamic. It’s easy to play to my creative side, my analytical side, my emotional side, my crass side… I can have entire relationships built around Kate the Financial Planner without them knowing about Kate the Artist, and vice versa.
That’s what I mean about building my life in a vacuum.
It’s easy for me to get into a relationship or new job and find myself building my life around the Kate I think I need to be to make that choice work. But because I feel like I’m having to hide part of who I am (or something?) I’ll eventually grow resentful and itch for change.
Which begs the question, why? Why am I under the impression I can’t be my whole self for any of these choices to work?
Taken outside of the Highline Hotel in Chelsea, Manhattan.