Thursday, August 25, 2005

Are we who we are ?

Are we what we are now ?

That may seem like a strange/stupid question, But is it really ?
I have been wrestling with this question most of my adult life.
Ever since I can remember I have always privately thought of
myself as someone that I am not in my daily life.
I was brought up in a reasonably structured yet controlled lifeslyle.
My folks always strived to give us the best chance at happy and
productive life, and even though they split when we were quite young
and my mother departed from this life prematurely, my formative years
were pretty much moulded by the instincts and teachings passed on to me
by them at an early age.
I lost my brother to the current crimewave that is sweeping the African continent
and life hasn't always been a bed of roses, but I feel that I have done reasonably
well so far.
I have had a failed marriage, but have two fantastic kids that are very
well adjusted and a pleasure to be around and I always get glowing reports from
people they interact with so I count myself very blessed even though I miss them terribly now as they stay with their mom. I am now remarried to a
fantastic person who after 10 years remains my best and most trustworthy friend.

I am not poor by any means and have been successful at almost everything I have
ever turned my hand to. I am doing very well at my current job and have enjoyed the
benefits and accolades bestowed on me by the company I work for.
Many people I know and some family members have the opinion that I always seem to
"fall with my bum in the butter" referring to the fact (I suppose) that I always seem to
end up on my feet on success street.

I often wonder if they stop to think that this might not always be the case. I struggled
with the loss of my mother and shortly afterwards lost my step dad whom I was very fond of.
They both passed on within a year of each other and it left a huge hole in my life at the time.
Luckily I have a sister with whom I have a very strong bond. She sort of took on the role of
surrogate mother even though she is the youngest. She still is probably the closest person
I have on earth next to my wife. I did more than my allotment of military service in a mix of roles
always closest to the heat. I saw and did things I still don't repeat today to anyone (my wife and sister included).
I was given a nick name (among many) of "Chameleon" by some of the men I served with due to my
unconscious ability to blend in to a number of roles and scenarios without detection.
But it seems now to be in a life that is a closed book or a chapter that I am finished reading.
So both my early years and my military years form part of a life that are filed away.

Yet deep down, in the recesses of my mind I find myself wrestling with the label of Chameleon.....
I have always thought of myself as a thinly disguised top tier predator. Always able, if the need arose,
to take what I want whenever I want it with reasonable impunity. Maybe that helps me in my daily
life and improves my chances of success greatly to the extent that it looks like I always land on
my feet and on "Easy Street" . I must admit I very seldom use this trait as it scares me to wield this
internal force. It just seems the easy/lazy way to move foreword and yes, I am a lazy person by nature.
Yet to the rest of the world I'm the happy go lucky guy that always
manages to fit in and say the right thing at the right time, who very seldom blows up at anything and is
always on an even keel, who always rises to the top....
Internally I seethe at the circumstances that have colluded to force me into this predicament. I am living
as a person that I know I'm not, yet I am beginning to come to terms with it and am creating a safety
zone that I know I will eventually succumb to.
I have no delusions though that if the need arises , I would be able to drag out the predator again and shake off
the camouflage - I am also under no illusion that while the mindset is there, the middle aged body might
not be up to its once finely tuned abilities :-)

So, in closing I return to my question..... are we who we are now, or are we what our current circumstances dictate ?


At 6:34 PM, Blogger Terri said...

I think we are all victims of circumstance to some degree, although the word 'victim' is not necessarily accurate. It's more a case of 'adapt or die'. You do what you have to do in the circumstances in which you find yourself. Some people are just better at this than others. Count yourself amongst the fortunate ones.
Methinks this is a conversation that should involve a few bottles of wine?!

At 6:55 PM, Blogger DelBoy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger DelBoy said...

Thanks for the visit. And welcome to the world of blogging. Not bad for a techno-phobe; 3 blogs in one week! BTW, I'm still not sure it's you in the picture. ;-)

See you guys soon!

(Sorry about the delete - I'm a bit of a perfectionist and it wasn't, well, perfect!)

At 8:32 AM, Blogger BUDDESS said...

Deep, very deep. I agree with Terri on the wine. I know the happy go lucky side of you. Always knew there was much more there. You and my other half share that difficult past. I suggest you watch Tears of the Son if you haven't and you will know what I mean.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Bosbefok said...

delboy - Im in cognito in the photo... very hush hush .... Undercover (mostly from the sun that was burning the crap outta me :-) )

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Bosbefok said...

Seen it. Dont know where i fit in though ...... Probably th eeejit who gets shot and still ends up with the girl :-)
Hold thumbs for the Bokke this weekend !!

At 10:28 AM, Blogger BUDDESS said...

You almost got it right. No, I am talking about what the movie is about, with the terr's, their violence, the people they hurt and the ways they hurt them, evacuations... This movie had a huge effect on my other half. Been there, seen it...

At 11:45 AM, Blogger ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

I believe we behave differently depending on the circumstances. We "posture" ourselves and mofidy our behaviours depending on what we perceive these circumstances to be. In that respect we are all chameleons.
Deep down, however, we basically remain the same and the values and norms that shaped us in our early years tend to stick. We grow and "adapt", move on and learn new things, as Terri said, and we sometimes bury the true self. But strip away all the layers and the person left standing is the one that has always been there.
Which in my case is pehaps not a good thing, because if it holds true... I will always be a "boy-tjie" from CT no matter where I go and who/what I become in my life. Same person, modified and fancier package.
(definately a topic that should involve a few bottles of red wine)

At 2:30 PM, Blogger cabsav said...

I think that all people are very much chameleon-like. When I look at how I respond to certain people in different ways, that statment becomes very true. We are different with our friends, lovers, siblings, parents, colleagues. I suppose this is largely based upon how "connected" we feel to the person to whom we are relating. Or, more importantly, how vulnerable we are prepared to make ourselves to them. The one's that we risk "allowing to tread upon the sacred ground of my minds" are normally the ones that are the most enriching of experiences and yet, they also wind up being the most painful. (I now scroll down and discover that Chitty has. already covered the chameleon thing! Alas, she returns to the dressing table to paint another face on!)


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