Journal Entry 7 – Who I Think I Am

09.29.21 – 1:09 pm

Perception is a fascinating concept. We all have a somewhat defined perception of our own selves. This self-image fuels our words and actions every day. It helps us decide how to spend our energy, money, and lives. If, according to my self-image, I enjoy certain things, I will likely try to implement those things into my routine. But what if my actual self does not enjoy those things? This chain of thoughts led me to unpack the idea of who I think I am.

Who are any of us, really? Without digging too deep into existentialism, I believe there’s a good chance we’re all the same soul, born into different bodies, and sculptured by our physical and emotional experiences. So, our personalities and unique traits are not inherently born with us, but rather formed over a lifetime of subconscious decisions regarding who we want to be.

That being said, I recently dissected my mind and documented nine different people that currently dwell in my brain. Or, more accurately, nine types of people I often believe myself to be. These nine self-images have been shaped by my favorite artists, characters from stories, and real people in my life. As a young child especially, I witnessed certain behaviors, ways of speaking, ways of dressing, ways of living, and I decided to take on those traits myself. More or less, I think this is how we all come to be who we are. But recognizing that all these traits I’ve absorbed can be broken down into only nine different “characters” afforded me quite a bit of clarity. Some of these traits are highly conflicting, which has been a source of confusion in the past, but makes complete sense now that they have been attributed to separate self-images.

I will not share who specifically influenced me to have these different perceptions, but those who know me personally can probably deduce quite a few. Now without further ado, here are the nine lives of Keilan Morrissey.

 

The Wanderer

  • Constantly traveling
  • Dedicated to exploring the entire world
  • Never tied to a single place
  • Spends days walking or driving around unknown locations
  • Deeply appreciative of nature
  • Has adventurous skill sets for navigating the world
  • Has friends and memories all across the planet
  • Carries a journal, and perhaps a camera
  • Owns a minimalist set of belongings
  • Leaves a meaningful impact on each place he visits
  • Cares about his environmental impact

 

The Storyteller

  • Speaks eloquently
  • Carries notebooks everywhere
  • Extensive catalogue of written works
  • Writing is his primary passion
  • Spends time writing in nature
  • Writes at coffee shops and libraries
  • Often dresses in a sophisticated manner
  • Usually calm and collected
  • Gives people written notes and sends written letters
  • Leaves interesting notes everywhere he goes
  • Creates lists of everything, always documenting
  • Deeply invested in his work and has a dedicated study
  • Has stories prepared for bonfires, gatherings, etc.
  • Capable of making people laugh, cry, or think deeply
  • Creates and partakes in scavenger hunts, puzzles, and mysteries
  • Reads often

 

The Childlike Optimist

  • Carefree, joyful, and enthusiastic
  • Highly active imagination
  • Always daydreaming and playing make-believe
  • Makes everyone feel valued with his kindness
  • Unphased by other people’s negativity
  • Asks curious questions
  • Unashamed of being clueless
  • Sings and dances wildly
  • Makes silly faces and speaks in funny voices
  • Writes and draws out of pure enjoyment
  • Enjoys early mornings

 

The Viking

  • Loud and boisterous
  • Laughs heartily and eats heftily
  • Tough and protective
  • Deeply proud of his family, friends, and home
  • Willing to endure difficult physical challenges
  • His physical size is a defining feature
  • Loves dragons, the cold, and Norway

 

The Modern Artist

  • Powerful digital presence
  • Consistent brand
  • Extremely prolific, always producing content
  • Very disciplined in his work schedule
  • Produces films, videos, photography, comics, etc.
  • Large network of connections
  • Utilizes creative new-age mediums of storytelling
  • Sometimes blurs reality and fiction
  • Willing to work absurdly hard to reach his goals
  • Self-made and fully independent
  • Complete control over his lifestyle, works for himself
  • Several income sources created by his art
  • Large audience across platforms
  • Sometimes cryptic and mysterious
  • Makes exciting announcements
  • Highly competitive
  • Delusional self-belief

 

The Philosopher

  • Frequently questioning everything
  • Deep understanding of mental and physical health
  • Connected to the universe and existence
  • Curious about the grand mystery of life
  • Accepting of his ignorance as a human being
  • Defined set of philosophies that allow for change and growth
  • Able to disconnect from technology for long periods of time
  • Lover of nature
  • Dispenser of wisdom

 

The Lover of Life

  • Feels extreme gratitude for his family and friends
  • Powerfully connected to his romantic partner
  • Puts a lot of energy toward special occasions/celebrations
  • Gives meaningful gifts
  • Loves his pets
  • Able to relax and enjoy the present
  • Deeply reflective on the passage of time
  • Enjoys the simple pleasures of life, like food and television
  • Partakes in enjoyable activities just for the sake of fun
  • Loves playing games
  • Invested in pop culture interests
  • Excited by the notion of a cozy life with all his wants and needs
  • Cares about creating memories and living a good story
  • Excited to pass on his legacy to the next generation
  • Can spend a whole day relaxing and feel fulfilled

 

The Weirdo

  • Proudly a social outlier with no fear of public embarrassment
  • Says and does highly unusual things, often to elicit reactions
  • Lover of social experiments and dares
  • Questions norms and embarks on unusual endeavors

 

The Hermit

  • Highly introverted, loves alone-time
  • Much happier in small groups
  • Would enjoy a simple solitary home in nature

 

Many of these traits I actively display. Others I plan to acquire as I age. And some are perhaps best left internal. But all in all, I found this exercise quite helpful, and I believe my brain has been a bit decluttered. I would encourage other writers, or anyone interested in a bit of healthy introspection, to do as I did. 

Another realization I had while making this list… There are some versions of myself I have happily left behind. One of these would be the Troubled Teen. I always had this image of a quiet, mysterious, brooding young man who carries some secret burdens. He is a bit judgemental and above-it-all. While I still enjoy the characters in my favorite stories that inspired my younger self to take on that personality for a time, I have since realized it isn’t for me. So as life progresses, and I continue to learn what truly fulfills me, I am curious to see which of these self-images I abandon in favor of happier living, or if any new perceptions will arise.

I’m not certain I’ll ever know exactly who I am. I suppose the only answer is “a constantly changing combination of everyone I’ve observed in my life.” But as I get older and must make bigger decisions, the list will surely whittle down a bit. I will have to decide what kind of person to be for my future family, my future audience, and my future self. But through crafting stories, I will always have a means of being whoever I please, even if just for a short time.

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