Monday, 2 March 2015
The first book of my Open University course is all to do with reputations and one of the first question it asks you to consider is "what is a reputation and how is one gained?" We are looking at characters ranging from Cleopatra to Stalin, the Dalai Lama to Madonna - all people with very different reputations.
It got me thinking. Obviously I posted this blog post about my reputation within high school. At a time that reputation was me and that reputation will always be part of me. I find it easy to talk about what some would call "slutty behavior" but that still doesn't mean that I don't judge people for acting in that way. I still judge the girl that said nasty things to me on the bus when I was thirteen as a bully even though she is probably a completely different woman now. I know I am not alone.
A reputation is hard to break especially without fresh starts - you start to act a certain way because that's how everyone expects you to act. I used to be very shy and when I was with my ex boyfriend I would say that I became even more introverted and I hated it. I'm not that person anymore but confronted with people who only knew me as shy I feel myself slowly sinking into that way of life again. I'm also a very emotional person - my friend will constantly remind me of the time I absolutely lost it at high school - stunning a teacher that could talk the leg off a donkey into silence. It makes me cringe even now but I still manage to lose it sometimes. I still have that same reputation at work - of being emotional, of being difficult. I wish I didn't. If an action is negative it achieves a reputation much quicker than a positive action. There can be months go by in which you act perfectly normally and then you have a bad day and that reputation you have worked so hard to distance yourself from is there again.
But then a reputation is different depending upon who you ask - I believe my reputation to be a gobby, emotional, chatty person but someone could have had a completely different idea about me depending upon how I have been with them. I think sometimes it is so easy to dwell on people's thoughts of you that it becomes a little bit consuming. I find it hard to distance myself from what my reputation might be, from what others might be thinking, and does it really matter? In the end you can only be the best person you can be at that time given the circumstances.
Sorry this a bit of a mind dump - there's a reason for it I promise just not one I'm really ready to put into the big bad internet yet. What do you think about reputations? What is your reputation?