Finding Different Versions of Yourself

Truth time: Have you ever read one of my posts and thought, “She’s absolutely crazy.”? Because if that has not happened, it might happen right now.

I was sitting across from a friend and makeup artist a couple weeks ago and she was saying she wanted to get a blog up but she didn’t know what to post. All at once, a slew of ideas spilled out of me. “Maybe make one on how to make your wedding day makeup last all day. Or how to wipe away wedding day tears without smearing your makeup. Or a 2 week diet plan for clear wedding day skin. Or the importance of exfoliation and how it relates to how foundation looks on your skin.”

She smiled back at me and said, “I wish I could do that. That’s amazing.”

Okay so that sounded like a massive back-door brag. I promise it wasn’t.

I  insisted back that it was just because I was in “that mode.” I believe everyone has “that mode.” It might not just be “in the light.”

Have you ever seen the movie Split? *Plot Based Spoilers* Also this is where it gets crazy.

In the movie split, the main character Kevin, played by James McAvoy, has multiple personality disorder. But like, it’s pretty bad. He has 23 personalities that are all entirely their own person. The movie illustrated Kevin’s ability to change as a superpower since some physical traits changed along with his personalities.

When Kevin needed to be protected, he turned into Hedwig, a nine year old boy who people couldn’t treat too harshly. Or when he needed to create a calming environment, he switched to Ms. Patricia, an orderly woman with a soothing voice. And he referred to the process of one personality coming forward over the other twenty two as “Taking the light.”

If you were speaking to Ms. Patricia, she was “In the light.” If you were talking to Kevin, then Kevin was “In the light.” Kevin was also a personality that often went years without making an appearance.

And I started thinking that maybe we all do this on a smaller scale. When you’re on a road trip, listening to your favorite album of all time, this happy, silly, dancing version of you takes the light to enjoy your time on the highway until you get to your destination.

When you’re driving the struggle bus at work, another version of you takes the light that is hyper focused, stressed, and frantic to get back on top of things before your boss notices.

When I was writing notes for this post, I had to stop for a long time because was I really going to write a post on creativity that circles around a character who is incredibly dangerous and psychotic?  I mean, that’s kind of insane. But, okay, we’re mostly just borrowing this idea that there are different versions of everyone and the whole “Taking the light” idea.

What do you think so far? Are you following? Should I continue?

Have you ever been in a bad relationship? I know I have. I’ve been in relationships where I was paranoid, jealous, and manipulative and it never felt like me. This terrible Denise took the light and wouldn’t let go. Do you notice that towards the end of bad relationships, people almost always say the line, “I just didn’t like who I was when I was with them.” Or “We brought out the worst in each other.”?

Likewise, in a healthy, good relationship, you often hear people saying, “I love who I am when I’m with them. They brings out the best in me.”

That high strung, stressed out version at work that I mentioned before? That was me for years. It wasn’t until I left that environment that a new version of me was able to take the light.

Last year, I went to a photography conference here in Phoenix and it was the 4th year in a row attending for me. After the conference, I brought donuts to the team at their office in Gilbert and I mentioned an idea for the following year. It was for a “take a book” library where attendees could take a book on marketing, branding, business, etc, home with them. On the inside cover, there would be a sticker that said, “This book was generously donated by” so that whoever picked up the book would be able to connect later with the original owner.

A couple months ago, the idea was approved and I got to work. I started asking my community for book donations and I scoured my own bookshelf for titles I thought would be a good addition. A few weeks before the conference, a new thought occurred to me. What if someone were to pick up a copy of Daring Greatly and opened the inside cover to find it was donated by Brene Brown?

MAGIC, right?

So I sat down and I emailed my HEROES. Those people I listen to non stop and read all their books and dream about meeting one day and I asked if they would be interested in sending books for this project.

Did I think any of them would reply? No.

Did I do it anyway just on the off chance one would? Yes.

Was I embarrassed that I was even trying? So bad.

Did I promise I wouldn’t be disappointed if no one replied but I secretly REALLY hoped one would? YES!!

On the third day, I woke up to an email. Simon Sinek was sending me books for my library.

I looked around my bedroom. I’m not sure what for. Maybe I was hoping a bottle of champagne was sitting in the corner. One I could shake and pop open while I screamed in my pajamas. I read the email ten more times and then broke out into a huge smile and called Raffi.

Last summer, none of this would be happening. I would have never had the idea for a library, or to invite my heroes to be a part of it. I would have never had the guts to even ask if I could build a library in the first place. I was too busy stressing out about my job.

If you want to get in a good mood and a 30 minute drive out to Phoenix while listening to Taylor Swift is the most solid way to make that happen then GET. IN. YOUR. CAR.

If you want to be hilarious and you’re your most hilarious around your girl squad? MEET UP WITH YOUR GIRL SQUAD!

If you don’t want to be miserable and tired all the time and it’s your job that is stressing you out and overworking you? It’s a hard one but find a new job.

If you want to always feel as beautiful and loved and respected as you feel with your amazing partner? Marry that fool right quick and treat them wonderfully!

Your environment is EVERYTHING when it comes to which version of you takes the light.

I know you know yourself better than anyone, but I promise there is a version of you who is AMAZING at that thing you think you’re not amazing at. There is a better version of you and a worse version of you. I truly believe humans are capable of anything and where you put your time, energy, and focus is what you get stronger at.

If you’re wishing you were more creative in your business and in blogging or podcasting, then surround yourself with creative people. Read The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. Find an environment where you naturally feel creative. Maybe in a painting class is where you get all your best ideas on how to market your skincare line. Maybe in the pool at your gym is where you find the peace of mind to brainstorm blog posts. Wherever it is, find it, seek it out, and be mindful of what version of you takes the light.

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

Special thanks to Suhyeon Choi via Unsplash for the mirror photo