And what comes next now I'm done the first draft of the book.
I feel some internal pressure to write even though I’m done writing the book. I want to keep this substack going and I likely want to continue some of this stream-of-consciousness style. Though I want to make sure it’s entertaining and you’re not just reading a string of disclaimers and insecurities, so I’m getting this out of the way.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Persona lately, and I feel my book broadly touches on this concept without being overt about it.
The book writing process helped me to start thinking about ideas in ways that may be more accessible instead of just feeling like I’m giving a lecture on a topic.
Nonetheless, Persona is an interesting topic.
Persona, in essence, is the aspects of who I am that I want you to see. What aspects of me am I presenting to you and how am I presenting those things to you. When we do work to integrate our shadow into our ego, then comes how we bring that out into our presentation. Whether we realize it or not we’re signaling something about ourselves to the outside world with every choice or non-choice that we make. And yes, saying that you don’t care about how you look or present yourself is also a signal. There’s a part of you that knows what you want to present, it’s just a matter of finding it.
For me, I’ve been playing with some updates to my look. What feels right to me? What presentation fits the inside? What signals may someone read by what I’m putting off? And do I have a strong interior that reflects that or am I just being a child in a 3-piece suit?
I don’t want to just strip my persona and go completely off-the-wall in the other direction because that isn’t me either. It’s a much more instinctual deep knowing but also considering the perspectives of humans around me to consider what I look like means to them.
In the book, I wrote about liking that people find me attractive and I think that’s a quality I’ve been owning. I don’t need to do anything with the feeling or knowledge but there’s energy coming from the feeling that I’ve affected someone’s equilibrium. They’re then more likely to give me their attention should I need it or keep their distance if they don’t know what to do with that feeling.
I had to go through quite a process of untangling any “bad person” or “manipulative” feelings about this idea because it’s ultimately about energy for me, not any sort of nefariousness but a sense that I’m in charge of how I navigate my interactions.
Actually, now that I think about it, it’s a way to keep confidence that I can navigate a situation the way I need to. In a way, to be a chameleon by standing out.
I used to think that if I didn’t try I would just be unnoticeable but I still had this repressed feeling that I wanted to be noticed, seen, and found attractive…which I think manifested in that feeling of being a “creep…” in the eyes of others…the smelly quiet guy in the corner looking at the attractive lady from a distance and wanting to feel confident enough to say hi.
Funny enough, you think this wouldn’t be relevant anymore. I’m in a very happy marriage and I’m not trying to reel in a mate. But again, it’s not about that, it’s about my style of wanting to navigate the social world. And I think leaning into whatever gives me that confidence…being healthier, dressing the way I want to, being approachable, owning my intentions, owning who I feel I am, stepping into my sense of self…allows me to keep doing what needs to be done with less friction.