Ever wanted to be a different person just to test waters? To see what it’s like to be a person you knew and admired? What if you had the chance to start over, would you take on a different personality?
A couple of years ago, I had an opportunity to move cities for a year. I grabbed this instantly. My hometown had made me unhappy, alone and depressed. A bad break-up had taken away some of my closest friends. They had picked sides and they hadn’t picked me. I yearned for a change. An atmosphere where no one knew me. Where I could just be a whole other person effortlessly. To begin with, I always wondered what it would be like to have a set of people address me by one of my other three names. As tempting as it was, I got nervous and blurted out my first name when I was asked.
My motive in this city where no one knew me was to make new friends. As many connections as possible. I didn’t need those old friends who weren’t there for me when I needed them. To achieve this, I had to be more sociable and outgoing. Which meant, never say ‘no’ to an invite, show everyone you’re extremely happy and be a good conversation maker. After all, all kinds of people, broken or not, want to be around happy people right? Seemed easy, ‘Bring it on’ I thought.
Soon enough, I had friends more than I could count on my fingers and plans for every weekend. Travelling and making memories, I made this person have a blast there. But mind you, I could never be upset because I was the person holding up all the others, or so I thought. Afraid I’ll lose these friends if I whined or complained, I shrugged off every bullet life threw at me; I can’t even remember those bullets now. 8 months there and I have no memory of being upset over anything at all other than some overtime at work! Is that humanely possible? Wow.
Towards the end of my stay there I even dated again. He was an introvert and survivor of depression with a heart of gold. The overly bubbly personality I put up had given him a safe place. And soon enough we were in love. But that wasn’t even me. Here, I was helping someone heal when I needed to heal first, myself. All of this pretence backfired when I headed back home. In an instant everything changed.
The people here saw through my pretence. Constantly asking me what was wrong and if I was okay till one day I gave in and broke down to a friend. The exhaustion I felt that day is unexplainable. But good things came from it.
I was finally back in my comfort zone and could breathe like a normal person. I let everything out. Allowed myself to feel hurt. I hit my lowest days. As expected, my friends from that city eventually stopped staying in touch and my relationship ended. (But there was one girl who stuck around and saw me through this phase, giving me a call every single day and sometimes even twice. I’m ever grateful for these precious souls.)
It took me a couple of months of really hard work. But I was so fucking relieved that I could finally be human and real. I could finally be a normal living being that felt happiness, hurt, pain and emotions and expressed it. I no longer had to be this pillar that others leaned on all the time. The people here, didn’t know me as that person, so I had my turn to take support as well. The friends that stayed beyond this were few but they are fucking amazing. No matter how many times I write about this phase of my life, there’s always more lessons I find in it.
Came across a girl some days ago, extremely bubbly and full of life, made me remember this then. What if she’s another me, 2 years ago?
What if you had the chance to start over? Would you really want to be a different person?