Becoming Amaris arts (see ‘About’) is about the process of coherently joining what I was in the beginning and what I will be in the end in order to bring all that I can be into who I am in the here and now. Not only accepting my complexity, but embracing it. Not running, hiding or holding back any more.
I am generally known for singing and teaching singing, but I have had seasons where people have mostly known me as a dancer, events organiser/host, poet, producer/remixer, prophetic encourager, sign language learner, songwriter, sound engineer/technician or youth/childrens worker.
These are all elements of what I do as part of who I am, yet most are not seen or shown to most people. I withhold most of these unless and until I want to utilise them or when something is required in order for me to bring something that I need/want to express etc.
Similarly to the things I do, elements of my personality are often not seen or shown to most people either. Those whom have experienced me leading a vocal workshop or hosting a songwriters share-case have probably witnessed me utilising more of the elements of both my personality and abilities than in other single settings, because such scenarios call out of me that which is required for a purpose I deem important. But, otherwise, I mostly only do what is necessary at a given time. Most people, most of the time get to see only a flattered version of myself.
When I take personality questionnaires and quizzes, I always have questions about the questions because I rarely find myself really fitting an answer and I have queries about the context etc. The way that things are worded creates ambiguity in my eyes – words like ‘usually’ and ‘mostly’ etc. If I felt that how I ‘usually’ am or ‘mostly’ am was a full reflection of myself that would at least make it simpler.
To most people I am quiet but to some I am talkative. I am mostly calm but I can be fiery. I can sometimes be naive and perhaps too trusting yet I can also be wise and deeply skeptical. I am mostly seen as serious and sensible, but I can be silly and quite comical. I am imaginative, inventive and full of ‘out there’ ideas, yet I can also be deeply practical, logical and analytical. I am mostly a peace-keeper and a rule-stickler yet I can also be a rebel and constantly question the norms. I can be emotional yet also strong. I am probably often deemed as blank and unresponsive yet I can be extremely passionate and expressive. I am fine on my own, yet I do throughly enjoy some peoples company (especially those with whom I feel I can various aspects of me with). I’m a simple soul but a complex being and that’s ok.
I think humans are mostly complex and we are all on a journey to bring together all of our self to become the best of our self so that we can reflect the particular light of God in this world that we are meant to. The world frequently tries to polarise our traits and to categorise us by how we usually are instead of accepting that people are made up of many facets which just happen to not always be in sight. If someone is usually quiet, but then opens up and speaks, it is seen as being out of character etc. People are unfairly labelled and put into boxes. But since when did anyone belong in a box?
I often say to young people when I am teaching etc that it doesn’t matter if they are usually quiet or shy etc, or if they are usually regarded as disruptive or naughty etc, every moment and in every situation they can choose how to be. I don’t think there is any such thing as a person who is only one thing. Everyone has various facets, we are multi-dimensional, not flat.
People respond within groups to form various dynamics. People will tend to gravitate to the part of their personality that is either more needed in the group or which makes their life easier or better in some way. For example, in large groups, people tend to become exaggerated versions of themselves, more like a stereotype. A generally quiet person may become exceptionally quiet whilst in a small group they might actually become quite outgoing.
I learnt very early on that life was much more peaceful if I was quiet. I partly made a conscious decision (and still do) that being mostly quiet made (makes) my life easier. As a result of becoming quiet I stopped being told off for talking in class (even though I was always listening too). And, as I grew older, I got away with hardly ever doing any work. I used to write poems and song lyrics and doodle during class, but never got told off, because the system skims over quiet people, you’re out of teachers radars – which was fine by me. Of course being small and sweet looking probably helped create an air of innocence too.
I don’t believe God is flat or like a caricature, though many people seem to be intent on putting Him in a box and putting their label on it. I believe God is multi-faceted like a brilliant and perfectly cut diamond, able to reflect every colour of the rainbow to every part of the universe.
We are faced with labels and boxes throughout our lives and each of our journeys are littered with challenges about our identity, our character and personality. But the victory is found in what we learn along the way and combine with what we already carry on our journey to becoming a better cut diamond in this world that needs more light.
Mandy – Amaris Arts