The majority of you will believe that you know my name. The majority of you would also be wrong.
I think it’s important to state here that I am somewhat of a polyglot. And by some long and tangled string of ambiguous circumstances, have obtained an arsenal of global connections and pseudo-names. Because of this, my answer to your very simple ‘what’s your name?’ question becomes a full calculation on the account of what language you’re asking the question in, the location of said conversation taking place, and, really, how I’m feeling on that particular day. My friends call this ‘mysterious’, I just think it’s disorientating.
I realise this isn’t too strange a scenario. There’s a lot of people out there who don’t use their real name for whatever reasons; but there are only so many who can emphasise with the multiple personalities that come with the array of names, language and contrasting cultural constructs.
It’s scientifically proven that being able to speak different languages exercises different parts of your brain (or something like that, I don’t know the details to be honest) so it’s no wonder that bi/multi-linguistics experience slight, if not drastic, alterations in character depending on the language they’re speaking.
You see, I’ve become a firm believer of the myth that names and words have sway over your life. I still remember the discussion I had with my family when I was a child about how your name actually influences a good 20% of your life. It’d sounded ridiculous at first, but the more I thought about it, the more my somewhat ‘flexible’ choices of names and clashing personalities started to make sense.
Think about it, we associate certain names with certain characteristics and personalities in the same way that we connote meanings with colour. We read about characters in books and sometimes, without any further description, assume that Ashley is blonde, that Axel is bad-ass, and Brad is gonna be a dick (no offence if your name is Brad, I’m sure you’re lovely in real life) I don’t mean to say that changing your name immediately changes who you are, it won’t cure your asthma or your allergy to nuts or your grade point average. It’s the tiny things I’m talking about here; the tilt of your smile, the arch of your back, the lilt of your words. A lot of people barely notice. It’s the sharp ones you need to look out for.
“This…aberrant behaviour of yours. Do you have an explanation for it?” A teacher of mine during my high school years had asked me just after lunch break. She’d caught me rounding the corner and pulled me aside for a word.
“Yes. Aberrant. Uncharacteristic. You don’t seem like yourself today. Is everything okay back at home?”
Nothing was ever really okay back at home, but I didn’t tell my teacher that. Though I admit I’d been in a particularly sour mood that day and had retaliated to a racist comment with tipping the boy’s curry over his lap. I suppose she must’ve caught me and thought it strange, considering I was barely the kind to raise my hand for an question I knew the answer to.
“I’m sorry.” I said to her, “I didn’t realise I was acting…strange.”
My teacher gave me an odd look, as though waiting for me to elaborate. When it was clear I was done talking, she just shook her head and dismissed me.
Aberrant. I decided I liked that word. It was, in a way, well applicable to me. Everyone has those days when we’re not really feeling like ourselves. Hormones are a bitch after all, though my case can’t be closed by blaming hormones alone. My case goes all the way down to my psychosis–another story for another time.
I still believe it’s impossible to be fully something. If you imagine yourself as a pie chart, you are never just a single circular block of colour. You are a little bit of your mother, a side of your father, a hater and a lover, an angel to one and the devil to another. You are a canvas painting of colours and landscape that make up a pretty picture.
My painting is a ruined piece of oil pigment; my pie chart the ultimate Wheel of Persona’s that I give a spin from time to time just to see where it lands. A lot of the time, I can’t control it. It took the smallest things to alter my persona, the wrong sentence, the wrong weather, the wrong alarm noise. Over the years I’ve learnt to keep a tight leash on each of me, though I admit there are days when I let my monsters run wild.
And that’s what this blog is for.
My monsters and aberrants; I want you guys to meet them.