Are you who you really are all of the time? If not, are you consciously aware of what you are gaining and sacrificing?
My analyst and the Jungian work I have been doing both teach that utilizing a persona is a healthy part of daily life, as long as we know when we are using one. I think maybe when I was teaching and early on in my writing career, I believed I actually was Q, instead of Matthew Quick. I mistakenly assumed that I could will myself into being an eternal extrovert, even though I am by nature the dictionary definition of an introvert.
I can still pretend to be an extrovert for brief amounts of time, but I try to remember that there is a ticking clock whenever I do so. And if I stay in extroverted mode for too long, my extroverted carriage will turn back into a introverted pumpkin, so to speak. It's important to know this, so that I can make a timely exit and remain mentally well before the clock strikes introvert meltdown.
There were some people in the film and publishing industries who flat out refused to call me Q. They always called me Matthew and I think I subconsciously appreciated this. Something inside of me just stands up when people use Matthew. Sometimes, the people using my actual full name were the most powerful people in the room—names you would immediately recognize. In retrospect, I've started to wonder if these few people were so powerful due to their abilities to see through personas like Q. I've also started to wonder if what they were trying to get from me and my art was something purer than my Q persona could yield.
About a year or so ago, I began asking people to call me Matthew. My professional contacts all easily made the switch.
Some of my closest friends and family members have—upon my request—also made the transition. I'm grateful whenever people use my full name as I have never liked being called Matt. Matthew feels like me. Matthew feels grounded, real.
I still use personas. We all do, whether we admit to or even realize it. But I'm trying to be more aware and masterful, making conscious choices, rather than allowing insecurities or worries to subconsciously drive. I often fail. I try to be kinder to myself whenever I come up short. Maybe balancing all of the above is the work of an entire lifetime.
Lucas Goodgame is also working on coming to terms with the limitations of his old persona, which you will see when you read We Are the Light. He's trying to grow, like we all should. He's in a bit of a chrysalis for most of the novel. A lot of interesting things are happening in that transitional state.
Book tour dates: HIT THIS LINK
(More dates and information forthcoming. Some events require registration and or tickets. There are free virtual events. And I am going to many cities. Please keep checking the events page for updates.)
Please also feel free to tell the people in your life that We Are the Light will be published in less than six weeks. I really appreciate your spreading the word. It helps more than you might think.
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