I am my own person. I have a personality that is unique, and is no more influenced by others than anyone else's except in the fact that I am more open minded than many.
Why is this so hard to believe?
First, tonight, I was informed that I am gullible. Impressionable. Easily swayed by the will of others. I have no personality of my own, and I simply absorb the personalities of those around me. This will, inevitably, wind up with me becoming an apprentice to a serial killer, joining a cult, or killing myself when a man breaks up with me.
This was informed to me by my parents.
And then, when I sought validation that this was not the case from my significant other, I was informed that it was a "reasonable concern" on their part. In fact, said significant other in the past has expressed concerns about my lack of my own personality and the fact that I seem to simply become whatever those around me are.
I AM NOT GULLIBLE.
No, I don't have a unique fashion sense, so yes, I wear whatever people around me who I care about the opinion of tell me looks good. Want to know why? Because I DON'T CARE WHAT I LOOK LIKE, as long as I am not revealing too much for my personal comfort, I feel comfortable, and those around me consider me attractive. You know what else? I don't have a favorite color, really. I wear red because people tell me red looks good on me. So I say it's my favorite color because I wear it all the time. In truth, I don't give a shit what color I am wearing unless it is purple. I don't like purple.
So I'm not a fashion horse. I don't care if I express myself through my clothes. So what? I still want to look attractive, naturally, so I wear clothes that other people tell me look good. When I valued my mother's opinion on my appearance the most (read: no friends), I dressed as she wanted me to. When I valued my peers' opinion the most, I dressed as Vivacia wanted me to. Currently, the only person who I want to find me attractive is Ryter. So SURPRISE, I wear what Ryter says looks good. Do I have to have a fashion sense to be my own person?
And yeah, I listen to metal a lot now that I am dating him. I also still listen to country, and pop, and emo. Around him, I listen to metal most of the time because I don't want to subject him to music he doesn't like. I also listen to it on my own. Because he introduced me to metal. The truth is, I like music that has an effect on me. Metal has an effect on me emotionally. The music is emotional. For country and pop, the lyrics make me think, especially with story songs. For emo and some pop, I can't understand the lyrics anyway so I use it as background noise because it's not distracting. Different music serves different functions for me, just because I was introduced by someone in particular doesn't mean I am influenced by them, it means I share their taste in music.
My politics have always been my own. No influence there, at least not recently. Ryter and I disagree on McCain vs. Obama. He doesn't share the importance I put on sex education, science education, available and safe birth control and a reformed healthcare system. When it comes to politics, we have different priorities. I have different priorities from most people in my life.
And yes, I changed my career goal from "doctor" to "ecologist." Part of that was admittedly Ryter, in that I chose to become a doctor when I was convinced that no one would ever love me so it wouldn't matter that I wasn't going to be financially stable enough to have children until my eggs started to churn out clunkers. I have since realized that medicine is probably not the ideal career for me because I actually will be able to have children with a guy I love some day, and I'd like to do it before I am 30. In addition, it was pointed out to me that I don't handle stress well and I don't function well on very little sleep, and I'd like a career where stress on the job means a few weeks of studies get derailed instead of a person dies and then I lose my license because of malpractice.
Also, I hate willfully ignorant people. I'm not talking about people who have no access to education, that's not their fault and I can't hate them for that. I'm talking about people who are presented with evidence and ignore it or disparage it to fit their preconceived notions. I hate Creationists, and anti-vaccinationists, and HIV denialists. I hate anarchists and communists and fascists, and freegans and vegans (well, religious/moral vegans who don't try to pretend it's healthier or more natural are okay). I hate people who believe telling kids about birth control will make them have sex and people who believe kids who don't have sex education don't have sex. I hate people who think America has the best healthcare system in the world when that only applies to people who have good health insurance coverage, and everyone else gets screwed, resulting in our average life expectancy being lower than most developed nations (I will concede that for those with good insurance, it's probably the best you can get). I hate people who refuse to see reason under any circumstances because it contradicts what they want to believe.
This would not work well in medicine. I think I would stab a scapel into the heart of the first person I met who insisted vaccines were wrong while their toddler was in agony with pertussis. Not good for business.
This does not mean Ryter is controlling me. It means that I am learning who I am. Ryter doesn't care if a mother he doesn't know doesn't vaccinate their child. I do. It just happens that much of my self-discovery is coinciding with when I met Ryter.
I have a personality. I am both compassionate and passionate about causes I believe in. I am fiercely loyal to those who are loyal to me and I want to help everyone who cannot help themselves, and some who will not help themselves. I care intensely about the world around me and want to make a difference, and yet I know I am powerless in many ways, which disturbs me. I am silly and goofy at times, and angry at others. I am slow to warm up to people but will share anything once I am warmed up.
I like music that isn't rap, I like clothes that make me look beautiful to the man I love. I like dancing and singing, which I don't indulge in much for others' sake because I am not very good at either. I love to cook and love to see people appreciating food I have prepared for them. I love to learn about the medical world and read about the environment I would not do well in and yet can appreciate on an intellectual level. I like biological sciences and puzzles of biology and learning how the mind works. I like dark humor but not embarrassment humor, and I like good wordplay. I like technology and imagining the world of the future, I like anthropology and the history of human evolution, I like weird, rare languages and uncontacted peoples.
I like the outdoors. I like hiking and swimming and camping and skiing an riding horses on trail rides, but not in a ring. I like animals and plants and interesting fungi and stargazing and the process of forest decomposition and regrowth and encouraging life to grow on a petri dish, in a cage, in a garden, whatever. I like obscure and ugly animals and anything that lives it's life in the dark. I love viruses, as long as I don't have them.
I like to track diseases and find the patient zero and where they got it from, I like to rant about the way things should be versus the way they are versus the way they will be. I like drawing and sculpting and writing and attempting to recreate the images I see in my head for those around me, and for my own future reference. I like learning about religion and myth and why it exists and what it teaches us, and considering what my own beliefs are. And yes, I am a raunchy person and have my own likes and dislikes there too.
I don't like being around people that much, and I need a lot of down time to process everything around me. I don't like when people criticize my beliefs or try to correct me when I am not right or wrong, simply in disagreement. I don't like crowds or mosquitoes or taking pills every day, or unapplied math or sleeping in the heat or any time the air does not move. I don't like being interrupted, cut off, not allowed to finish a thought, not allowed to take a breath in conversation for fear of that being the case, or when people misinterpret my words, which happens often because I have a tendency to use words in a manner which is slightly unlike their normal use and not even realize it. I don't like roller coasters, horror movies, sudden movement in a quiet area or being touched by anyone I am not very comfortable with.
Not one of the above is influenced by Ryter, or anyone else for that matter.
I'm sorry, world, but I don't understand what the problem is. I don't see where I lack personality. I often change what ASPECTS of my personality I present to people, which is something I am actively attempting to change and which action I believe is what is leading people to believe I myself am changing. Well, no, I am not. I am simply showing you the real me instead of the custom-made-for-you me.
I can recognize when a person is attempting to control me and I will cut them out of my life as needed. I usually recognize it when they start to resent positive changes in my life and when they resent efforts on my part to reveal my true self to them. I can't really cut my parents out of my life yet. But I can still limit their exposure to me because they are a negative influence on my life. I know my parents want to control me, consciously or not, for a simple reason: They are resenting the changes in how much of me they see.
So please. Stop telling me that I have no personality of my own. I have one. I have likes and dislikes and values and priorities and they are all mine. I can recognize attempts to control me and circumvent them, except as regards my parents. No one's gonna talk me into smoking a joint, joining a cult, or eating human flesh and the fact that I have almost no friends outside Ryter has nothing to do with Ryter and everything to do with the fact that I am too shy to make friends or maintain a large social circle. I have almost always had one friend and built all other friendships off that, and right now, it's Ryter. Is it ideal? No. But it will not change any faster if I am living on or off campus, if I spend more or less time with him, or anything else. The only way that will change is if I can convince myself I care enough to change it. I don't care enough about it right now, I'm more concerned with school and my health and doing things I enjoy to change something which, while annoying, is not impacting my life except as a nagging "probably should get around to that" thought in the back of my head.
And if I am talking and talking and don't make sense, please, for the love of all that is good in this world, BE PATIENT. I have a point. But I don't think in words and phrases and I am trying to make connections between my brain and my mouth and convey how I am thinking, but if you interrupt me, you break my train of thought and then I can't finish it. I do have a point, I will get to it, but I do not have the communication skills needed to do so quickly. Please, just... be understanding.