I go back and forth battling two sides within myself.
One side of me is pulled toward ideas, details, analyses, and rationally fitting together the pieces of an argument. This side of me is keen to pick out logical fallacies, learn facts, and dutifully think through the repercussions an action might yield. It uses specific terms with specific meanings that most people immediately understand. This side debates, debunks, and examines.
The other side of me is elusive and less defined; it struggles to coexist with the domineering nature of the me that picks apart ideas and fixates on the way words are used. Every now and again this formless side of myself sighs in loud exhaustion, bored with watching the circular debates and re-examinations of what I already know. Politics is poison to this elusive side, facts are like sheets of paper laying dead on a table.
This side of me resents the guardrails and rules placed upon it by reason and culture. It has no interest in proving itself or making a point—it only seeks the space to stretch and reach, to see and feel.
I spend more time gripped by my rational side lately. Everyone with a penchant for intellectualism has been called to the frontlines of our cultural debates; all minds on deck to fight regressive, intellectually dishonest ideologies.
You become what you are. Slowly, subtly, the lens you most often look at the world with becomes second nature, and you forget you ever saw the world without it.
I’m lucky to bear the burden of a mildly fractured personality. I fully embody different sides of myself, forgetting other sides are waiting for me on the sidelines of my mind. I’m not sure how the world responds to my shifts of self. We live in a culture that’s increasingly incapable of holding complexity. Everyone is a brand, everyone carves out their brandable niche.
Can I be both rightwing and leftwing? Can I be both masculine and feminine? Can I be both rational and emotional, both logical and mystical?
It’s hard to know what someone’s “about” when they’re willing to argue against themselves. I’m not the substance, but the vessel; I can contain many things, some of which can’t be mixed at one time.
Bless the few of you who find kinship with me over the search. You’re a mystery to me, like a rare bird unseen for years and only reported to still exist in the wild. You are the ones who don’t seek out people identical to you, but who value the way people look at the world, not necessarily the conclusions they reach.
Here’s a fun example of that internal battle between two sides that can’t easily coexist:
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