It Is I

on Monday, January 21, 2013


I is for..me. And you. I is for identity. Pull out the Freud books, here we go... no, actually let’s not. Because I’m thinking along a few lines other than philosophy and psychology. For such a small word, ‘i’ is jam-packed with intent. From idiot to illuminati..we all has an I.

So who are you anyway? (Someone asked me that once, and I only had to think a moment before I had a choice of fifty answers. I chose one, and that is the version of me that they were introduced to.) Fact is, even if you have a nice pat answer to give anyone who asks, you are a whole lot more than you could ever tell them. I..in a delightful irony the smallest word possible..with the largest meaning.

So if we are all that and more..what is identity? A lot has been said about our human need to put labels on ourselves. We like labels. It’s handy to be able to call oneself mother, or daughter, or student or preacher..so handy that labels are insisted upon. Who are you?, demands the official document, and you faithfully fill out all the neat identifiers; sex, race, creed, age, marital status, religion. And there we are, all summed up and rubber stamped. And if that weren’t enough, polite conversation will soon inquire as to your line of work, so that you can fit nicely into the social and economic category that your occupation implies.
Ah but I am so much more. So are you. I am quite cross that the official forms don’t have a space for Imaginary Occupation. I would very much like to fill in ‘Pirate Queen’.

Here in Australia, we are well known for a cosmopolitan, multicultural outlook. We don’t tend to go overboard paddling our patriotic canoe, though our national identity is hardcore mateship. We seem to know who we are. The struggle for identity thrashes itself out between our many immigrants faced with having to build a new life far from the very things that make them feel at home.

So boiled down to it, what makes us...us? If you had to describe yourself without using any of the usual government sanctioned tags..what would you choose? Would you feel confident enough to isolate yourself from the safety of a bland category, and be the individual you are? Ok then... a challenge. Describe yourself with ten identifiers without any of the usual labels.

Here’s me: cupcake muncher, cryptic crossword hater, shell collector, cloud appreciator, watch wrecker, morning swimmer, gecko rescuer, shoe buyer, small toe stubber, password forgetter, bible thumber.

Identity is individual.

Saint Alvere, France


2 Comments:

Katherine said...

Oooh, a challenge! I like challenges! (And LOVE the delicious stone textures in the photo too!)

Ok.
1. List maker
2. Risk taker
3. Tree watcher
4. Bird painter
5. Nap taker
6. Dog patter
7. Texture lover
8. Procrastinator
9. Possum trapper
10. Book lover

Jules said...

Nice list Katherine :) ..sorry to have limited you to ten..I'm sure you could easily have given me 100. I like textures too, I always got into trouble as a kid for touching everything.