What exactly do I want out of life? That was a question I really had no answer to a few years ago, it was vague to me. I knew too much of what I didn’t want that I didn’t even know what I wanted anymore. So in this article and a few more to come, I’ll be sharing how I found answers for myself.
I knew I had to get to know me, the real me, get to know what really mattered to me, what compromises I could make that were within my limits and those that were way beyond. I wanted to know why I acted the way I did and more.
I had always been the more reserved fellow growing up, I grew up with a younger sibling of a more bubbling personality and I often wondered why she seemed more outgoing than I was. She had coteries of friends, had her way with children and would go about gathering children in the neighborhood for Bible club. I loved the children too but I never felt the push to go about gathering them. I had a few friends who were very special to me, I never thought I really needed more friends. I was very friendly, some people would even regard me their friends but it wasn’t that deep with me. I was always careful to name a person my friend. Classmates, fellow church member, family friend, would be more appropriate for me. I was my own person and many found it strange.
I loved my own space, I loved quietness, I didn’t mind been indoors all day. It was never an issue to me. Having my own privacy was very important to me even though I didn’t mind sharing when I needed to. I loved peace. Chaos and shouts got me really upset. Well, as an high school student, I had the most amazing time, I had wonderful classmates and friends, I had more than enough distractions, distractions that I enjoyed. I hardly broke rules or instructions. I really never had a problem with obeying them. Getting to the University I discovered I was my own person. There had to make the rules as to how I wanted to live, I called the shots. It wasn’t the usual anymore. The unusual was now my norm. A strange one at that.
I still had no idea why I acted the way I did. I had my clique of favorite people, my family of course would take the lead, I was a sucker for family ties. They all meant the whole world to me. I made new friends of my classmates and a few of my flatmates and church members and I enjoyed every time spent with them. I had bouts of mood swings, I could be happy and jumpy at one time and suddenly wanted my space a fraction of moment later, wanting to coil back into my shell. I would feel like crying for unexplained reasons. At other times I wanted answers to all of life’s questions. Then something would happen and I would snap out of all the gloom and be happy again. A swing it was, joggling between here and there, not finding a balance. I knew there had to be a better way. I wanted to do better.
I felt emotional pain more intensely, so I got depressed easily when I had lesser distractions. Being a thinker I found it very difficult to be spontaneous and take risks, I later found out I was almost always right in my spontaneity. I was less of a talker and more of a thinker. I was blunt and straight forward when I spoke, most of my words carried deeper meaning than I knew of. I expressed passive anger. But then, I deeply cared for people, I could give anything to make people feel better and comfortable and mostly I enjoyed playing host to people. I enjoyed learning, I found research intriguing.
I found a book on human psychology which painted me and many other people around me so well that I could swear the author had be spying on our lives. He described the behaviors as “Temperaments”. He called some “outgoing and expressive”, he called the others “reserved and introverted”. He talked about how our temperaments influences our personality and all we do. The temperaments he named; Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy and Phlegmatic. He explained how we can have a cocktail of temperaments, our strengths and weaknesses and how to be deliberate and intentional about our actions while putting into consideration our temperaments and that of others. I found what blend of temperaments I was and how much influence it had on my personality. I learnt “WHY I ACTED THE WAY I DID”. Tim LaHaye taught me why! The knowledge gave me so much insight as to who I was and what I wanted to do differently.
Maybe the assumption of “what you don’t know doesn’t kill you” was wrong all along, because I think it does, and it kills faster and you won’t realize why you are dying until you are dead. Facts are facts and they don’t change even if we are totally oblivious of them, also facts don’t care about our feelings, we have to find out what the facts are. Once you do know, you get better, you do better, you know the right steps to take in your desired direction of change and betterment. You can be in better control of you if you so wish.
Did I get better? I think I did, a whole lot. Swings in my mood no longer get me crippled. I learnt how to deal with it, I knew what I wanted and who I am and how I can evolve. There are days I do play certain scenarios in my mind before hand and practice my response to such so as to be able to get a better grip on myself when such happens. I also believe it gets better with the knowledge and maturity that comes with aging too. After all, it isn’t abnormal, it is perfectly normal on our road to self discovery. More than our temperaments, our upbringing, exposure and live experiences amongst other things greatly influences our actions and reactions.
But then, do you really know why you act the way you do?. Maybe you should also find out if you don’t, it’s a good way to start finding answers.
To be continued.