Studying the various subjects I have to know for next week, I am faced with this redundant subject of identity and how identity is constructed. I feel a bit silly writing about it, knowing it’s been a good year and a half that we’re being told the same thing -sorry my friend who’s reading that and who’s in the same study- but I wanted to put my two cents in.
I was wondering; what is stronger? The image you have of yourself or the image people have of you? How much can you shape each and which one ends up by winning?
I want to think of myself as a brave independent person, a bit stubborn and quite emotional. Of course, I mostly want to hold a positive image because I’m gonna be working from that, and if you don’t first believe in you, who will? Yet, I can’t help but thinking, what if my ‘braveness’ is considered as arrogance by some, or my stubbornness some kind of blind obstinacy?
There’s not much that can be done about that, one doesn’t hold an iron fist on the image that’s being made of him. But still, I wonder what ends up by winning, which one is stronger? Is the image thought by others ends up engulfing the self determination or can the self reverse the external perception?
I guess the classical answer is: a bit of both. A compromise is always the key in these weird questions, nothing being really black and white but all a shade of grey -or more like, 50 shades of… alright, sorry-.
On this same thought, I was wondering how much can be considered of yourself?
Looking at myself, -again, it’s easy to psychoanalyze what you have under the hand all the time- I’m a pure product of my interactions. Every person that I meet, that I live stuff with shapes me in all sorts of way. A stupid example but the way to cut a tomato? I might have learned it from my mother at the beginning, then unconsciously copying what I was seeing in Japan before switching to how my roommate does it currently, in addition to how I’d do it without thinking about it. It feels like some sort of ‘adapting’ technique, a way to survive to change by adapting to what’s around.
Going further, my interactions, may they end up being positive or negative experiences, always become a part of who I am. I have this very stupid mantra that I have no regrets. Shit happens and there is no interest, nor benefits wishing things happened differently because they didn’t. Things are the way they are, and the faster you can deal with this idea, the faster you’ll get ouf of it. As a result, I’m taking everything that happened as a lesson, something valuable to keep and remember. May the result be a counter-reaction (such as compensation) or something I integrated (started drinking beers and mess around with analog photography?), it feels like my ‘self’ is just a reflection of all the people and experiences that happened to me.
It feels like it would be stupid to think of oneself omitting certain parts, or trying to focus on a ‘true’ and ‘original’ self. It just doesn’t exist. Everyone is just a mix of puzzle pieces all piled on top of each other, and you can’t just decide to remove certain pieces here and there without getting an incomplete picture at the end.
Last piece of thought, found this quote some months ago.
“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviour.”
― Stephen M.R. Covey, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything
I do this every time and I find it really despicable of me to let myself be under the delusion that my problems would be somewhat more important than others’. Or that I’d have noble reasons to behave/feel a certain way, while others would have to be judged for who “they’d be” or who we think we know they are.
It’s so easy to say “I couldn’t do it because of external conditions, but I swear I wanted to” and blame on others “He didn’t do it entirely because of who he is”.
Yep, that’s it for today, these were my two cents and I should go back to study now. Thanks for reading.
P.S: The wind is so strong tonight, it might just tear the windows open at any moment.