Past, Present and Future Tense

A lot of people believe that your basic personality is set by the time you’re five. In other words, once an asshole, always an asshole. The entire universe has your emotional number and like it or not, that neurotic little twitcher you were in pre-school will be your calling card for eternity.

Now, if you happen to be one of those kids that pops out of the womb singing a happy tune, you’ll be just fine. The world will open up to you like one fat, over-priced oyster. Challenging times will be seen as hurdles, rather than sinkholes. A missed opportunity will be the first of many to come, not the last one you’ll ever see. And your teachers! They will adore you and invent new awards, just because you’re that special.

But get one black mark entered on your Permanent Record Card and you’ll be looking at your personal brand for life. Trust me, maximum security prisons are less harsh than a second-grade teacher with an axe to grind. “I was only an ‘emotional child’ because you made me!” (Insert heaving sobs here.)

Whether deserved or not, we continue to bear the stigma of personality profiling throughout the years. Seriously…if even the possibility of missing the school bus was enough to send shockwaves of despair through your pre-teen body, I can guarantee you’re not going to like dating or paying taxes any better. Eventually, you’ll learn to cope with your perpetual state of tension. People will consider it charming, although behind closed doors they will mock you, you can be sure. Then one day you’ll come to accept the fact that you’re never going to be relaxed; that, every situation you encounter is rife with peril. And that is when you throw your head back, lift your chin up and feel the sweet, sweet sting of purified botulinum toxin as it washes away years of unrelenting face-scrunching.

Past tense, meet future perfect.

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