Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Split Personas

Do you find that you wear masks or costumes (figuratively speaking) during your daily tasks, e.g. Work? Are you afraid of what people might say if they heard what you listen to on your iPod? Do you fear backlash for expressing your inner thoughts on your blogs?

In the past, I've been accused of sounding white, acting white, etc. It never bothered me (and still doesn't) because I can't change who I am or how I speak. I grew up in Southern California and in the Pacific Northwest. As a semi-adult, I was relocated to the south, Texas that is. Although my favorite mug's motto is: "You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas" I am still not a Native Texan - and that's cool, I can fake it to a point and will still go to the Rodeo and the Texas State Fair.

During my African American Psych course, we were supposed to read a book, Shifting, which details the faucets of various women's lives and how they shift their personas, mannerisms, speech, etc to get through their daily lives, work, dealing with family, church, civic clubs, etc. Some of us take it to an extreme and some of us don't even realize that we do it. For some, it can be determental because they cannot recognize their true selves.

I know I shift. I hold myself differently while at work. I use more appropriate language, answer the telephone in a manner that you cannot distinguish my race. I write differently. Am I hiding from who I really am? Honestly? No!

But back to the point of this ramble... I've recently made new playlists on my iPod to boost my workouts and they do include some hardcore rap (at least I call it hardcore, explict lyrics and all). So on my walk into work this morning with iPod on play (still listening to yesterday's workout playlist), I ran into a woman who has a higher position than I, but she is not in my department. The slight shift from Gangsta Chick to Work Chick went into full, seamless effect.

A word to those of us who shift...don't lose yourself trying to prove yourself.


Savvy Gal said...

i think there are many sides to a person. we put on diff mask for diff occasions.

La Belette Rouge said...

I know that I don't share all of me on masks on my blog. I also don't share all of me at work. That is healthy, I suppose. Different masks for different locations.
FYI: I only lived in Texas for six months and I still say y'all!

Janie Out of Debt said...

I make those shifts too. Nice blog post.