De Trop

by

Sam Michel

So I am an Enneagram four.

If you know what that means, then you might suspect from the off that this message had some particularly... amusing? ways of quote-unquote resonating with me.

And if you don’t know what it means, I can oversimplify one shade of it by saying that, in the whole fast-fashion scenario that Steve describes (which I had no idea was even a thing, en passant), I’d want to be one of the ones getting photographed for their unique style, yeah?

...And then I wouldn’t know what to do with myself once everyone started wearing that, since I’d no longer be “unique.” (I would likely, at the very least, feel some irresistible need to set the record straight of who did what first.)

The spot of bother is, inherently, what drives that is... some fear of disappearing. Of no longer being seen or heard. Of unbelonging, as it were. Of, basically... of being de trop.* Because, of course, I also am not sure that I am good enough. But if there’s no one else, well, child, I guess you’re it, so you will have to do. (Or like this saying in Spanish [which I’ve translated to English]: “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man reigns.”) If someone else “like me” came along, though, well... I’d be displaced—off you go—since they’d surely be better in all the ways, too, and why would you want me then?

And that’s when I may “find [my]self looking at their story, looking at their gifts, trying to do it their way, and... going, ‘Man, if I could just be them!’” Not because I want to (since, truly, I want to be my unique me and belong) but almost because I feel like I should be. And the underlying question is: “What about me ensures that you’ll choose me and you won’t displace me later, irrespective of who else may come along?”

One of my most recent fascinations (albeit short-lived, since only four episodes exist thus far) is a podcast called Typology (about the Enneagram... fittingly). And every episode (so far) ends with the quote by Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” And you might say that here’s an added element to that—the thing for me, and maybe you, to keep on musing on: You were never meant to be a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy. ...And the Spirit of God wants to cultivate something unique for you. We don’t need another person. God already made them. You know what the world needs? You. Fully you. Fully filled with the Spirit of God.

*Unwanted or unwelcome. // There’s too many or too much already.

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