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Who You Are

Started by Q. G. Pennyworth, November 20, 2018, 05:11:31 PM

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Q. G. Pennyworth

We are what we do

So if you don't know who you are, start doing things! Over time an identity will emerge, or something close enough that you can run with it. It may take a long time --years even -- and it's not remotely safe, but it's the only way out. Date somebody. Dump somebody. Go to Shakespeare In The Park. Buy a membership at a Museum. Find a library and start hanging out there.

Don't worry too much about clothing, hair, and accessories. Appearance isn't identity, it's just a way of presenting yourself to the world. As you start doing things, you'll find some outfits work better in certain situations than others, and some aesthetics get you further into the circles you find yourself. Go to a riot. Go to a city council meeting. Take an online course. Pick up a new hobby and find the other people doing it.

If money is no object you have more options, but even if you're struggling to get by you can still figure yourself out. Access to the internet puts tons of free, structured educational paths within reach, and countless communities for any interest you can imagine. If you don't have access where you live, libraries are free and have computers. Museums have free admission days. Volunteer opportunities don't have to be huge time sinks. Sit in on a church service. Collect trash and make something from it. Go for a walk and let yourself get a little lost.

This also applies if you know who you are and don't like it very much. Change comes by doing things, and if apologies are owed they don't have to be the first thing on your path to being a less shitty you. Pick up a paintbrush. Move away. Stop spending time with people who make you a worse person than you want to be.

Doktor Howl

Quote from: Q. G. Pennyworth on November 20, 2018, 05:11:31 PM
Don't worry too much about clothing, hair, and accessories. Appearance isn't identity, it's just a way of presenting yourself to the world.

The colorful label on the whiskey bottle isn't what gets you drunk.
Molon Lube

Cramulus

I love this


evokes the Principia's line "And so it is that we, as men, do not exist until we do"


I had a real ego breakdown a few months ago while trying to answer the question "what are my values?"

and I realized that if my values are derived from my actions, rather than my intent, I have fewer practical values than I profess.

and this, in turn, got me off my ass

hooplala

This speaks to me also. My biggest takeaway from the period when I was heavily into Existentialism was that "we are what we do, not what we intend". Ultimately, only actions matter in this world.

It was good to be reminded again.
"Soon all of us will have special names" — Professor Brian O'Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)"
— Walt Whitman

Q. G. Pennyworth

This shit is extremely literal for me. The one positive that's come out of the 2016 debacle is that I've finally resolved a lot of the lingering identity crisis that took a back burner to the more pressing "don't be dead" mental health work.

I am someone who picks fights with the head of security at city hall, who loudly expresses disgust at the inappropriate jokes of the chief engineer of the DoD while sitting in the Pentagon Sheraton. I am somebody who wears shorts under skirts, because you never know when you're going to need to climb a tree or break into a sprint. I'm somebody who knows too much about snails and slugs and slimy things, who watches videos of deep sea critters to relax. I am somebody who blows their voice out at the protest, somebody who knows how to throw their elbows at the punk show, somebody who knows how to talk to the cops and how to put flyers in hands. I am someone who knows how to plant their feet shoulder-width, who knows where the exits are, who is brave enough to scream at the nazis and ask out the pretty girl. I am somebody who gets letters from congresspeople. I am somebody with problems and with a very full and effective toolbox for dealing with them. I am an evangelist for public transit, public schools, public libraries and art. I am somebody who knows how to project, how to tell a story, somebody who has an eye for detail and an ear full of noise.

The me of six years ago would not recognize this person, but I think she'd like her.

LMNO

Quote from: Q. G. Pennyworth on November 20, 2018, 06:06:39 PM

I am someone who picks fights with the head of security at city hall, who loudly expresses disgust at the inappropriate jokes of the chief engineer of the DoD while sitting in the Pentagon Sheraton. I am somebody who wears shorts under skirts, because you never know when you're going to need to climb a tree or break into a sprint. I'm somebody who knows too much about snails and slugs and slimy things, who watches videos of deep sea critters to relax. I am somebody who blows their voice out at the protest, somebody who knows how to throw their elbows at the punk show, somebody who knows how to talk to the cops and how to put flyers in hands. I am someone who knows how to plant their feet shoulder-width, who knows where the exits are, who is brave enough to scream at the nazis and ask out the pretty girl. I am somebody who gets letters from congresspeople. I am somebody with problems and with a very full and effective toolbox for dealing with them. I am an evangelist for public transit, public schools, public libraries and art. I am somebody who knows how to project, how to tell a story, somebody who has an eye for detail and an ear full of noise.

The me of six years ago would not recognize this person, but I think she'd like her.

I'm not sure if you can fit this into the Big Words magic that you do, but it's hella compelling.

chaotic neutral observer

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
    --Kurt Vonnegut

Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

Q. G. Pennyworth

Did the reply as a page. Not sure if it lands in Holy Nonsense or something else, but here you go