In today’s society, there is an emphasis on presentation. Social media fosters this obsession, and each outlet does so in a slightly different way. What we are left with are several different versions of ourselves . . . all of which require separate modes of tailoring, crafting, and refining to present the best possible self for that particular facet of our lives.
Working in marketing & branding, I am hyper aware of presentation. Most of my work each week centers around how our content looks, how it compares, and how we can make it look even better.
In real life, we do this too. We present different versions of ourselves based on the social context and our surroundings . . . and rightly so.
Before a friend pointed it out, I hadn’t really thought twice about my living situation for the summer. I knew that I would be living in the guest house on my supervisor’s property. ‘Wonderful!,’ I thought. How convenient!
For the first few days, I thought a lot about roles and presentation of self. I am accustomed to being very formal with my supervisors. However, it’s an entirely different scenario when you’re greeting your boss first thing in the morning in your pajamas before you’ve had your daily dose of caffeine.
Living with other people is an intimate experience. No one can put up a front or a professional appearance allll the time . . . and you shouldn’t really have to at home.
I recognize the unique nature of my relationship with my supervisor, Jess. As the CEO and founder of Midsummer Tea, she is my superior and she has a distinct vision for her company. I really want to do all that I can to help cultivate this brand and boost her sales. I think I can learn a lot from her and from her experiences as an entrepreneur.
But, living out in the middle of the countryside of Sweden, she is also my companion: someone to go for a dip in the lake with, someone to cook dinner alongside, and someone to drink wine and socialize with on Friday nights.
I believe that for as many different versions of ourselves that we present, there are equally many roles we can assume in someone else’s life. So while Jess is my supervisor, she’s many other things too: a friend, a mentor, and many more. And while there are occasions where professionalism is required, I realize that most of the time when I’m around her . . . I can just be me.