On a recent post, I listed nine personality types (see An Unschooled Look Into Personalities). I’m sure there are more, but in my stages of life I’ve noted that these stand out the most. Whether it was in college, as a recent graduate, or a working professional, each stage of life and new set of friends have included these dynamic people. In the original post I included a quick description of each, but I’d like to dive further into each. If you would indulge me, you can follow along with this series entitled “Personalities.”
First up, “The Weird Guy.”
High above the clouds I saw the mounds of dirt.
I fly from a city of sound to a city of lights.
Stay up all night, lose a lot.
Keep playing try to make it right.
My eyes see many but I feel lonely with many people that barely know me.
A city that, by day, seems ok but at night changes sight.
People hungry and trying to satisfy that with whatever they might find to fill it.
I find myself at least willing to relate,
‘Cause I see in me some size and shape of an empty space.
That I try to fill with whatever I might find to fill that place.
I confess to God if he hears that I fail to follow through on what I’d like to do,
what’s right to do and if he’d speak to me, I’m all ears.
Have been for years, to the point of tears.
Not knowing what he wants or what he thinks or if he knows my fears.
I confess I need him.
On my knees again.
I trust no one to understand where my heart is or where it’s been.
Up in the sky I see him.
I look at the earth and know it’s him.
I know he’s around even without sound.
My eyes see and I don’t feel so lonely anymore.
He desires a better life than I choose for myself for me.
But I constantly choose to live selfishly.
I choose the chains the keep me from being free.
I choose to take what I can have right now.
But higher than the clouds, it’s different here.
I want to stay soaring above, I am in his love.
My eyes, mind and heart are clear.
Evil no where near.
So I gain the confidence to take on what waits for me when the plane brakes.
So goodbye clouds, goodbye easy.
If I have to, God, give me the strength to land, to get off this plane.
To hold your hand and hide in your name.
I now face the world on it’s level.
No longer too high. Evil points to me as a bullseye.
But it’s on my back ‘cause I’m facing one direction.
And I choose to move.
I stumbled across an email I sent to a friend of mine in 2005 (Yahoo! saves sent messages). When I saw his name again, I was reminded of a social phenomenon. In each group of friends I’ve been in, there’s always “the weird guy.” In 2005 I was living in Tallahassee, FL after graduating college. The friends I spent the majority of time with were the inner circle. Then the outer circle. Then the sattelites. The “weird guy” could infiltrate any of these levels. I began to think about who else was in these groups. I came up with some labels.
“The Weird Guy”: Girls are uncomfortable around him because he’s either asked three or more of them out on a date, or one of them more than three times. That or he uses his eyes when he should be using his words, ie. he’s staring.
“Indiana Jones of the South(west Airlines)”: The friend that’s in town one weekend and out the next. This guy/girl is a bit mysterious, and is attractive to the opposite sex because of their adventurous nature and limited availability.
“The Party”: In a make or break scenario, this person always makes. When they arrive, the party starts.
“The Thinker”: Who you go to when you need someone wiser than yourself.
“The Satellite”: Whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not, they’re always hovering around.
“The Dark Horse”: Quietly munching on carrots in the back of the super bowl party, he/she is mysterious, but funny when it counts, and lends a hand when needed.
“The Database”: Full of knowledge on many subjects.
“Captains of IMDb”: The person that quotes well-known movie lines and some abstract quotes only other “Captains” would know.
“Justin Texterlake”: The cool guy that texts all the time. He’ll text you when he’s with other people, and text other people when he’s with you.
Everyone seems to have their deal-breakers. I never really thought about mine until the term “deal-breakers” became popular a few years ago. Typically I stay away from trendy words or phrases because they annoy me. Anyone remember the book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye“? When I was in college that book had it’s fifteen minutes of fame, but not with me. I always joked about it, something like this, “Oh, you kissed dating goodbye? Well, I kissed dating!” Ok, it’s probably a good book with valuable information that will keep the reader from heartache and miscommunication with the opposite sex, but as 1990s rock group DC Talk sang, “Some people gotta learn the hard way.” To be clear about what image I’m projecting of myself in college, I didn’t date much at all. Mainly because I did stuff like this:
I wanted to date and learn the hard way, and sadly, in some cases I did. However, with the experiences and failed attempts at long relationships, I learned what I liked. I also learned what I didn’t like, which would later become my deal-breakers. Early on in college I created of list of things I wanted (deal-makers, perhaps?) in an ideal mate. Things like a goofy sense of humor, enjoying but not understanding sports,a dog lover, a healthy disregard for cats and the Florida Gators, on and on the list went. I was very specific in what I was looking for and what I knew I wanted. Probably too specific because now, as a thirty-one year old adult male, my list has shrunk to a few general yet more absolute characteristics. It’s also easier now to narrow down the potential field using the list of deal-breakers rather than the deal-makers. What I mean is this: instead of finding what I want to live with, it’s easier to eliminate the ones who have what I cannot live with.
Like a buffalo against the herd, I recently closed my Facebook account. Most people ask if I de-friended them. Or assume I gave it up for lent or a designated amount of time. Certainly radical behavior is only short and to prove a point or test one’s limits, but not a concrete long-term decision. But now that I’m months into a social networkless life, I begin to wonder if the civilized United States is progressing or not, and which side Facebook’s on. Maybe I’m just wierd to question that. But remember when new technology promised us easier ways to connect with people then secretly stole from us the very basic need of truly connecting? I haven’t recently uploaded 500 pictures from my 75 megapixel camera, but I talked to my neighbors this morning. And I know their names.
Social websites have spread friendships wide at the cost of depth.
Something else I noticed is that I was spending too much time maintaining the online image of me. From uploading pictures, writing status updates, I was projecting who I wanted people to see. It was an exhausting one way conversation all about me! Honestly, I needed a little less barking and a little more action. So I closed my account. I can testify that it’s tough to communicate without Facebook, however, I use my phone to talk more now, imagine that!
Reverting to the traditional ways of communicating, that’s progress. Friendships becoming real again. Not just letters on a flat screen monitor. Staying “off the grid” has already proved beneficial: it’s given me more time, and added some mystery to outsiders. It’s also eliminated sources of stress because keeping up with the online image was exhausting, sometimes aggravating, but none of it was satisfactioning me! It would take another mighty movement to revert back to simple communication on a national or global scale, where we have a few close friends instead of hundreds of acquaintances.
“Now that I do know what it is, I have to say,
it seems like a huge waste of time.”
–Betty White about Facebook, Saturday Night Live, May 2010