The Many Mes

Today I was catching up on the blog of a good friend of mine. It’s all about her experiences teaching English as a foreign language in China. I’ve mentioned it before. Anyway, in one of the blog posts, she mentions that her friends would probably find it strange to see her as a teacher and her colleagues would probably find it strange to see her enjoying her hobbies with her friends. She then concluded by saying that it did not matter, as they were both still aspects of the real her.

It made me think about the many different groups of friends that I have and the many different contexts I interact with people in. I think some people might be quite surprised to know about some of the experiences I’ve had. These four blog posts all document experiences which were very different from each other. Because of the different feelings that the different parts of my life evoke, it can often be hard to believe that they’re all part of the same continuous chain of events.

Having said that, while people may be surprised by some of the situations I’ve been in, I don’t think people would ever really be surprised by the things that I do or say (other than that time I threw my shoe at someone in anger, which surprised even me.) I think it’s generally because I tend to behave pretty consistently in all situations. Some people do, some people don’t – neither approach is better than the other. Although what I will say is that sometimes new experiences remind me of old ones because I respond to them in the same ways and then it can make things feel a little bittersweet.

It is a bit of a shame when I do something new with a new friend and it reminds me of something I did in the past with an old friend, because it makes me miss the old friend. However, it’s not all bad, because this also means I don’t forget old friends, since all the memories remain close to the surface.

So while there are many mes, they’re all pretty much exactly the same. The only thing which really differentiates them, is the contexts in which they live.

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