Have y’all heard about this thing called the enneagram?
According to dictionary.com, the enneagram is a nine-sided figure used in a particular system of analysis to represent the spectrum of possible personality types. With it being nine-sided, the types are numbered from 1-9. I am a 3.
And the Enneagram Institute defines a 3 as the Achiever: The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious.
Success oriented? Duh.
Image conscious? Double duh.
I love me some Refit, but I can’t let loose and dance like no ones watching. Because people are watching. And they have to be judging while watching. So I must hit each motion with the right amount of precision and flare. But what do I do with my face? Smile like a goon or just keep it chill? Which one will be more accepted?
And then there’s my fingernails. My biggest pet peeve is chipped nail polish. I hate laying down $40, but this dip manicure thing is one of my new favorite things. It lasts forever, doesn’t chip and strengthens my nails. When they’re done, I feel put together. And I feel put together because I feel like that’s how I’m perceived when I’ve got my nails done.
And then there’s church – where we are all told to come as we are. But what I am is a bit of a socially anxious, total introvert who puts on a mask of comfort while I in no way like to sit by myself. Because then I have to sit by strangers. And smile and shake hands when the greeting comes. If I’m being honest, I’ll just skip church some Sundays because of the anxiety that comes every Sunday morning. I know, you extroverts have no idea what I’m talking about.
Obviously, I could go on and on. I am driven and success oriented. You should see my planner right now as we are putting together our annual high school football preview section. If you need me, I’ll be free in September.
But as a 3, that whole image conscious thing is a big whammy. I have to look just right. Which definitely means a non-chipped manicure and some concealer because my skin still thinks I’m a teenager.
I heard about something called Snapchat Dysmorphia on the radio last week. According to an article in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology, people aren’t bringing in pictures of celebrities when they want to get plastic surgery done. Instead, they’re bringing in their own selfies that have been doctored with filters.
Think about that.
They want something that’s a technological enhancement that runs as deep as the screen protector on a smart phone, if you will, to become reality.
Being real hurts.
At this moment, I’m already over-analyzing what kind of response this post will get. If it gets nothing, obviously I’m not good enough. If it gets a little bit of response, what were the reactions it got when people saw it pop up on their feed?
And then there’s the images I’ve attached to the post. A comparison of how I look when I put on the mask of makeup to hide the imperfections and how I look naturally. Obviously, the glasses were needed or else the selfie most likely would not have had me in it because I’m blind as a bat.
But being real is important. We have to stop seeing people – from friends and family to acquaintances to random people we may have met once on social media – as members of an audience gathered together to watch the show that is our life. Because that’s when life becomes a performance, an act. That hopefully has pyrotechnics because those are fantastic.
Instead, what would it look like if we viewed each other as teammates. And not like the Lakers and LeBron. Because there is no one superstar with a bunch of OK other people who will be totally dependent on that one person. No, we are not the heroes here. We don’t have a Michael Jordan-esque flu game where we put the team on our back. We play our part. Our true part. Not as a center trying to chunk up 3s like a shooting guard. We stick to our roles, all the while playing for the coach who knows our true strengths and weaknesses. He does not judge us by those or measure us up against one another.
He orchestrates the offense so each of us can shine. And that can only happens when we get real.