I've been thinking a lot lately about who I am. Maybe it's because I'm living in a place that I lived in when I was a kid, and for me, that's unusual. I remember being little kid me, seeing the same sights I see today. Being a child is in a way having no identity, or having all identities possible. You are malleable as putty, your personality changing daily.
I'm not sure why, but lately I have been paranoid that I am not my own person. I've been accused of this in the past, and shrugged it off. Some people say I am too much like the people who surround me. While I have always accepted this as true, it somehow suddenly seems inadequate. Now, here, I am reassessing who I am.
I know I am a Leo, a lion, a fire sign, passionate. I burn hot and cool slowly. I yell when I'm happy, mad, and impatient. I always know what I want, but am not always sure how to get it. I have spent many years seeking out experience as some kind of badge of honour that states: "Been There, Done That." It is a quest to be an Interesting Person. I have gone on a Vipassina retreat, and not spoken a single word in ten days. I have been a student of religion, and a student of academia. I have let myself fail. I have enjoyed the persuasion that my looks have had over others. I have modified my appearance, again and again, not out of any self-hatred, but again, a burning desire to express the multitudes of selves that I have. I love food, the lifeblood of experience. I eat and I think of the tongues that have experienced the same flavour. Food for me is emotion. I love clothing; caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly. It can simultaneously hide and reveal our best and our worst. I am afraid of repeating mistakes that I have seen. I am afraid of being misunderstood. I am afraid of being alone. I am afraid of wasting any moment with boredom or lack of action.
I think in this quest to become interesting, I have learned that once you truly have become such, you don't feel any different. I think I've done my fair share of experiencing the world for my age, and yet there is a grace in the fact that most people I meet don't know anything about it. It's not about saying "This one time in Italy...", it's about letting my experiences enrich the way I view the world. What began as an arguably superficial pursuit has improved my ability to consume and digest my environment.
Perhaps, in my impatience to find my identity, I've found that it is an overrated concept. I am a collection of (at times, bizarre) experiences, and that is undeniably unique to me.