Just a little blog about me and mine.

An Integrated Life August 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katie @ 10:27 am

A former classmate wrote in his blog about receiving the following piece of advice:

“Lead an integrated life. Be the same person in each environment in which you exist.”

What great advice!  We all emphasize certain aspects of our personality and talents in different places though.  At work I’m more agreeable, patient and confident.  At home, I’m more likely to be cranky, indecisive and insecure, but hopefully also more sensitive, outgoing, and even silly (shh-don’t tell anyone).  Overall though, I think my life is fairly integrated–if two people who know me met each other, hopefully they would say similar things about me.    

I haven’t always felt “integrated” though.  For a few years, several years ago, I had friends I drank with, friends from home, friends I did church stuff with, friends in classes, friends who knew I was gay, or at least knew I was slowly figuring things out, and family who didn’t know anything about me at all.  Part of being more integrated as an adult is trying on different personalities and growing up, but for me, I really didn’t feel integrated.  I found it fairly easy enough to to change and evolve, but found it hard to go back to those other groups of friends and be different than before. 

Moving away for a while came with good timing, all things considered (except for starting a long-distance relationship 6 weeks after starting to date PL) and was a really good decision for me.  I met new people, was out to them from the start, and I was able to finally integrate different aspects of my personality in an environment where I felt less pressure to be what people I had known for a long time expected me to be.  To the credit of folks I know, it was pretty much self-imposed pressure to be what they expected me to be. 

Once I moved, my new school friends were all church people too and were all gay too and we all drank together–how terrific!  The family part came later, and after that, I really had no idea how much stress I had been carrying around for years (I stopped having trouble sleeping nearly overnight).  When I returned, the natural course of growing up and leaving college means I kept the good friends, lost touch with the acquaintances, and made new friends. 

I still have “work to do,” as my pastoral counseling professor would say. I realize it’s inappropriate to be cranky to my boss and wouldn’t do that, but still act grouchy at home all the time for no good reason.  I also realize that if I act informed about the news, I need to spend more time reading the New York Times and less time reading Perez Hilton and Nerve, but that’s fairly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, and I don’t actually know who most of those “celebrities” are anyway.


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