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Introvertly Extrovert

If I had to liken my personality to an animal I think I would be a chameleon. (speaking of which, who decided to spell that?)

I find myself becoming like those I am around. When I spend 2 weeks in Brazil, my speech starts to pick up a Portuguese dialect. When I am with baseball players, I tend to talk about sports, accomplishments, and make crass jokes. When I spend time with Renaissance Festival people (Ren Fest) I talk using a cockney accent and make lots of jokes. When I am with music theatre people, entertainment, music theorists, etc. I adopt similar speech traits and I adapt my interests and conversation to match other people's tones.

In many ways I could see this as a strength. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:22 I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. In many ways that has been a life verse for me--I can grab a hold of what Paul meant here. And that can be a healthy thing. It is difficult to have a very deep conversation with someone if you hold no parallel ground with that person. I am, in many ways, a bridge builder in that sense.

But there are just as many ways in which that is a weakness. It's almost as if I don't have enough of a conviction about who I am to be the person I want to be even if no one around me is that way. I chameleon doesn't exactly stand out in the middle of a rain forest.

Over the past 8 years I have gone from being the life-of-the-party-let-me-entertain you guy to become the I-want-to-be-transparent-and-let-you-in kind of guy.

Through high school and college I thrived on being funny, on being the center of attention, and never letting anything break my good time mood. Then, after several major events in my life, I realized that while the funny guy has lots of acquaintances, he doesn't have many friends who have a deep understanding of him. For as much as I love having lots of friends, lots of irons in the fire, and love being the life of the party, I realized that it is better to have a few really deep friends, do a few things really well, and entertain just a few guests at each party. If Jesus only had 12 really close friends, why should I be able to sustain a deep friendship with 40+?

I realized all this after going to the Reds game and realizing that it would be against my nature to walk up to a security guard and ask to get into the ballpark for free. I no longer view myself as the exception.

If I could choose a new animal for my personality, I would want to be a jellyfish. I want people to be able to look at me and see right through any facade that might be there and get to know everything there is to know about me. I want to go deep with people. I want people to go deep with me. No more holding back, no more hiding. We need to open up and let the ghosts out of the closets. We need to confess our sins, talk openly about struggles, and be real in this life while we have a life to be real with.

Well....this was a much more serious post than I was expecting. Going to the Brown Co Fair tonight, tomorrow should result in a much more light-hearted post.


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