Who are you?
I am Jo, Jocelyn, Jo-chan.
What are you?
I am a scholar, singer, wife, sister, daughter, friend. Creative, passionate, fiercely loyal, hesitant, reserved, outlandish, capable. Tall, emotional, spendthrift, language connoisseur. I sing out loud in public and
What is your primary identity?
Ooh, a nebulous thing. I want it to be ME, but most often it is Student, Academic, or Geek.
What ethnic, racial, nation-state do you identify with? Or do you identify with none at all?
Anglo-American is probably the closest. I don’t always feel like I’m anything at all, especially when I’m not feeling particularly “American”.
How did you learn who you are/how to categorize yourself?
In comparison to other people, starting with my sister and mother.
How does having/maintaining an identity detract/support one being their authentic self?
If I am only one thing, then I cannot be all things that I am. If I am all things that I am, then I cannot be easily classified.
When we confront people as labels or categories, how does that affect our ability to see them for who they are?
I am blinded by the category, so that I miss all of who that person is.
Is having a simplistic, hand-me-down identity a form of ’security,’ and a strength or an ‘escape’ from the anxiety of growing into something beyond the flowerbox you were planted in? Or both?
I have used identity for security, but this was also to my harm. I was constantly watching that other person for cues as to who I needed to be. By trusting in the identity instead of myself, I lost who I was while I was being somebody’s girlfriend.
When I allow myself to be fully who I am, there is no anxiety anymore, but a much more reliable strength from a much more stable source. When I am truly myself, then I realize that the flowerbox doesn’t exist.
Do you ever ask yourself who and what you are, who and what you are supposed to be and whether you are being your truest self?
Often, but I am easily distracted from it. My greatest downfall is getting caught up with what other people think of me, and letting judgments rule my decisions, that may be phantoms in my perception only, instead of listening to what my truest self has to say.
Krishnamurti says that the drawing of lines, of distinctions in one’s mind has and does create all of the conflict, all of the war on the planet.
What say you?
He’s a wise man. It’s the divisions that I perceive to be there that keep me from participating fully in humanity, and that keep me focusing on the differences rather than the commonalities.