August 20, 2003

A Gemini and a Chameleon

I used to pride myself on my ability to blend into any social situation, whether I be trussed up in an evening gown, sipping fine wine and extoling theories on the latest political and cultural developments or watching a baseball game, with beer, a hot dog and cigarette in hand. A lady in the parlor and a whore in bed, so to speak.

However, being an artist who joined the post-college "real world", I find my two most consuming identities becoming only more so, yet they are completely divergent and growing ever further apart. In me, there is the burgeoning young corporate executive, moving up the ladder, wearing fine conservative clothes and looking every bit the picture of success. But then there is the bohemian artist in me (a part of my identity I hold dearly), who is interested in almost everything, reads voraciously, can talk politics and art and rages against the system with the fervent zeal of an idealistic liberal, wears cargo pants, tank top and a beanie, and drinks fair trade coffee. The two identities are diametrically opposed, and causing me much cognitive dissonance. My fierce independence is also warring with the romantic in me (who misses her long-distance boyfriend with an all-consuming, can't breathe kind of an ache--a feeling that is entirely new). My firm sense of self is shifting and I can't find solid ground.

I can't give up either part of me, but both identities are warring ever more violently in me and I fear the collateral damage (which includes my security and self-esteem). How do I reconcile my two selves?

Posted by at August 20, 2003 09:57 AM