who?

Creds to Erik Eastman — Unsplash

hey
who are you?

did you pause to think about it?
was there a moment of silence in your head?

was it your name to first appear?
what followed next?
how many different ways can you express who you are?
can you sum up all those different ways into one?
after all, you are just one person

so, who are you?
these days, our job titles eat a big chunk of the identity pie
possibly followed by our interests
gender
political views
cultural heritage
religion
tribe
the list goes on

but deep down, truly, do you feel well defined by these?
whether by each definition individually or by the sums of all of them
does it cut to the core of who you are?
and do you really own any of them?
can you confidently place your signature on them as your own creation?
if you cannot, how can it be yours?

why do we want it to be ours anyway? why does it have to be our identity?
why do we need to own it? understand it?
packaged into a nice neat box of identity related knick knacks
and corresponding costumes
how big is that box?
would its dimensions force you to leave some things out?
and how often do you have to change that costume?

defining ourselves is useful, let us grant that
it helps us speak the right language
wear the right clothes
consume the right media
avoid certain experiences
seek other kinds
eat at the right restaurants
drive the right car

they get comfortable — we take them on as truths
left too long, unexamined, they become second skins

Alas, it is a false sense of comfort
because you still do not know who you are
and you claw at each new thing and see if it’ll fit you nice
new movement? that’ll look great with my educational background
new kind of phone on the market? that’ll nicely complement my interest in tech
and so it goes

but when you sit in silence
or stare into space
who are you?
how do you know who you are?

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