I was just reading an article about that ridiculous MTV VJ Jesse Camp, and it turns out he was (and still is, presumably) the son of a professor and a teacher who went to boarding school. One is reminded of Rabbit’s freestyle where he got the crowd to turn on Papa Doc by mentioning his parents and the fact that though this guy’s a gangsta, his real name’s Clarence. And Clarence parents have a real good marriage, and I could do that whole rhyme because it’s awesome.

Annnyway, while we can laugh at Camp (and we should, ha), he was a teenager, and teenagers do dumb things. As said article mentions, what teenager hasn’t adopted several personae?

So I thought about my own personae. I’ve had several over the years, and the transitions have been both intentional and otherwise.

As a kid I don’t think we have them. Personalities, yes, but a persona above and beyond that? Not really. I was smart, nerdy, and goofy. But that was all naturally who I was.

It started when I wanted to fit in. Of course it did.

In middle school, at a school full of smart people, I wanted to be known for something else. So I made an effort to be the Funny Guy, cracking jokes and disrupting class. God I was a fool.

Eventually that stopped working. So I considered myself a Loser even though no one else really saw me this way. Silly teenage angst.

For a moment there, I was all about being Muscle Guy, whhich was indeed uncommon at my HS. I liked this.

In college, smarter people, more muscles, bottom of the totem pole. Okay. I’ll be Cool Guy Who Has Done It All. They saw right through my shit.

After no one liked me for a moment, I said, fuck it, I’ll be Tell It Like It Is Guy. But I got too mean and too bitter and too angry. This guy comes out if I’m in a terrible mood still. He’s the guy I have written about defeating.

Then, I had to calm down. In Korea, I was Guy Who Knows Everyone. Which was fine, I guess, but not that interesting and really not accurate.

But finally, after working on my anger and maturing, I’m Intensity Guy. It’s true: I’m intense about the silliest things. Not that I am not funny, but my focus, organization and determination are sort of my well-known deal now. I still have loose lips and tell it too much like it is. And all the other Guys are wrapped up in there somewhere.

I wonder which Guy I’ll be next. Hopefullly not Boring Married Guy just yet.

Who are your personae?
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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality