Aside from my parents house in Connecticut, the longest I’ve lived in one place is the 5 years we lived in Munich, Germany. I’ve also lived in Florence, Italy; Washington DC and Storrs, CT, USA; and finally Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I have no idea where I will be living in future years. I would like to live in Japan, Chile, Tanzania, New Zealand, Italy (again), Denmark, somewhere in the Caribbean, Egypt, and probably dozens more places that I just haven’t thought of yet…
I wonder, with all this moving, this changing of lifestyle every few years, am I really the same person everywhere I go? I can honestly say I feel generally happier here in KL than I did living in Munich. I assume that’s a reflection of the constant sunny (as opposed to gloomy) weather. But, maybe not. Maybe I’m somewhat of a different person here. A person with a more positive outlook. A person who is slightly more content to take things as they come, accept things for what they are, and not constantly worry about making things perfect. How did that happen?
Do I change a little bit every time I move? Is that part of “growing up”? Or am I just adapting to the local culture while I’m here and will revert back to the “old” superkimbo at some point?
And if I am a little different here than I was in the last place, what does that mean for all the people I meet along the way? Do they all know the same superkimbo? Who do they know, really? Who am I, really? Who are you? Today? Tomorrow? Next year? In 10 years? In 50? Are we always evolving?
If that’s the case, I wonder what people must think of me at these different points in time. Does it take the person who just met me only a second to define me, or does it take some time? How flexible are those definitions? We always hear “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” How does that work? Are those quick definitions we make about people more or less accurate than the ones we develop over time?
I consider myself a quick judge of character and I wonder what I would say about myself if I wasn’t me (if you know what I mean). If I had to guess, I would generally say that other people think I’m: friendly, loud, opinionated, pushy, talkative, strong-willed, bossy, organized, type-a personality. At this point in time, I like to say I’m: happy, funny, smart, knowledgeable, loud, opinionated, talkative, organized, focused, independent, confident, logical, amusing.
I think there are a lot of overlaps there, but perhaps it’s because I’m only guessing what others would say about me. Last year I found the Johari Window (more here) and I only asked a few close friends to fill in mine. Feel free to check it out and define me. I wonder how this works for people you meet online. Can they really define you if they haven’t met you in person? What does this mean for the “flattening” of the world, when business and education can be done without ever meeting the other person? Do you ever really know who you’re dealing with?
The interesting thing about the Johari Window is that it’s all positive terms, so if you really want the “true you” you might also want to incorporate the Nohari Window, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to make one of those for myself yet…
I’m curious, who are you?