I'm A Person Not A Personality

John longboards north down the street. To his right are the dorms. He passes Sedona, then Chaparral and a pool, next Saguara, and in his sight is his dorm, Ocotillo. Now John, that is I, knows a lot of people on campus. In fact, his friend, Jordyn made him a bet in the past that he could not walk 50 steps before somebody says high to him or he to them. John took that bet, and he lost .... 8 times in a row before he got smart and cut through the North Rim apartments and the parking lot to avoid people. People are yelling salutations from left and right and from even within the pool. These quick conversations go kinda like this:

"Hey, how are you?"
"I'm well, how are you."
"I'm great, thanks."
"I'll talk to you later."
"Alright, see you later."

If we are honest with ourselves, this is how most of our interactions are. Many of us are content with having superficial relationships with people and not really get to know them.  That is when you become a personality. I am guilty of being a personality. I am notorious for knowing everybody on campus, whether it was in high school or currently in college. On Facebook, I had over 1,300 friends, before I went through my list this weekend.  When I thought about it, how many of those people actually knew me and took the time to invest in me and me with them? People knew of me, just as you know of a tv personality, but they didn't know when I was struggling, or what I was struggling with. I liked it that way; this way nobody could hurt me.

A personality is a facade. If there was prize for best "smile and conversation to hide the pain you are feeling inside for reasons that nobody knows" I would have won, daily. Everybody puts up a facade, a front, of some sort. We post insightful status's to Facebook to seem smarter than we are, we filter and edit our selfies before we post them on instagram to hide blemishes, we tweet what we think people want to hear so that we get followers, and the list goes on.

No authentic relationships can be built without showing the real you and allowing people to invest in you. I have made really big and hard decisions lately and they bothered me, but I opened up to people. I told them I was struggling with my anxiety about my decisions. There were some days when I did not even get out of bed, but I still opened up to people when they texted me.

"How are you?"

"Honestly? I am struggling. I broke up with my girlfriend and I quit my job because I feel God was leading me to both. I don't know why and I know he has something great in store for me for being faithful, but at the moment it sucks."

I did it. I was honest and real with people. Their responses are what shocked me. When I allowed them to see what is happening inside my head, they actually cared and invested in me whether it was advice or just hearing me out. I have always been the one to listen, and it was weird to be on the side of the person talking. Everybody needs that person. They need a person, not a personality. Being a person is your ministry. People can connect with others when they are open with their struggles and handle them the right way. Nobody has a perfect life, not even people in Scottsdale. I implore you to open up to others past just a "hey, how are you?" Actually mean it when you ask it. If they respond, "I'm well" then you ask "How are you really?" You will be surprised at how many doors that opens.

John Fernandes