Identity. It’s ideally supposed to be fluid, but not too fluid. Stable, but not stagnant. A means of psychic survival, context, and reference. A way to form and rationalize our routines and habits.
A way to garner an illusion of a security and control in ones experience, and view of, life.
Part of my approach to that illusion of security has depended on figuring out, identifying, who the fuck, I, consistently, am. Or so it has been that I have told myself.
Thing is, I would think that someone who has spent the kind of effort and energy and focus scrutinizing themselves, changing shit, and showing the world exactly what they’re fucking made of, would have a bit better concept of who they are and what they’re about in their core than I seem to.
Instead, I have spent as long as I can remember struggling with shaping my identity, and in many ways resisting against the natural fluidity of my personality in the face of attempting to establish one.
One example of how I have struggled with identity is having seen my tendency for picking up the mannerisms, gestures, and accents of the people I admire as immature and shameful. As childish indication that I don’t know who I am, can’t be trusted to hold to my convictions, and don’t know how to be my own person already.
Another example is seeing my propensity for diving, passionate and headlong, into activities, communities, relationships, and cultures, as proof that I am not strong enough to maintain a selfhood of my own free from the frivolous influence of others.
Yet another example has been seeing the impermanence of these dives as being a fault I can work away somehow, a problem with my personality that needs to be solved.
And, worse, I have seen these sorts of things as confirmation that I just leech my messy hodgepodge selfhood off other people.
Which is sort of a fucked up way of looking at things since that’s how people.. you know. Grow. Which is sorta my thing, I think, maybe.
And yet on the flip side, I periodically ignore what I *have* come to know about myself.
For instance, I do things like experimenting with attempting to form myself into a person of routine and habit when I have never in my entire fucking life accomplished having the same fucking morning twice. As if that isn’t really me, I just, what.. haven’t found the right habits, yet? Am not disciplined enough, yet?
Sure. The person who kicked heroin, meth, cigarettes, and has transformed their existence on multiple levels multiple lives over with no end to the rebirth in sight just hasn’t picked up the *right fucking habits* to be a person who functions on a basis of reliable morning routine?
The fuck outta here.
I have yet to come to a balance between what I know myself to be, and what I expect to be able to convert of myself, with enough effort to ‘grow’ as a person. My self-dar in this way is broken.
In picking apart what I’m going through, limping along as this half-mutated caterpillar sprouting butterfly limbs thing with no fucking shelter to speak of as the life I built over the last 17 years crumbles away, I’ve started coming to a bit of clarity about this. A bit of clarity as to my hopelessness in attachments and love, and in my hot/cold fear complex that virtually guarantees the continuous re-enactment of abandonment in my life.
I’ve come to think I’ve been stuck, and resisted a lot of my self-knowing in this way, because I believe somewhere deep that it’s the reliable, steady ones who are, ultimately, deserving of love and longterm devotion.
Which sort of explains why I’ve always kinda hated people like that, the lazy stagnant self-avoiding fuckers.
I think it’s true, though — in my subfloor belief system, it’s the stable ones, who don’t move around much, don’t shift much, have a consistent manner, can be trusted to do the same things the same ways, who are the deserving ones.
Because somehow (kidding — I know exactly how.) I picked up the notion that it’s those people, the ones who stay forever, the ones who can be counted upon to be there, stationary, prepared to reflect that dedication back; Those people deserve love.
People who are me do not.
So I went along my merry way, thinking, I expect, that if I can just figure out what I am, consistently, and represent that accurately to others, I’ll finally be worthy and capable of lasting love, and finally be drawing people who appreciate and can joyfully roll with those things about me, to me. Right?
Except what happens when what you keep finding out about yourself is that you’re not conventionally consistent at fucking ALL?
What happens when you equate a fixed, resilient identity with personhood and worth, while simultaneously being of a personality that is a constant rolling boil of introspective challenge, experimentation, movement, transformation, and change?
I won’t bother describing it. Imagine it for yourself. If your stomach drops into your asshole and you feel like you have to cry, chances are you’re my people. Sup. *fistbump*
Ultimately, what I am finding is that identity is a piss poor reflection of personhood.
Regardless of what I identify myself as, whether it be a drug abuser, an artist, or a ‘healer’, or snarky, or someone without a racist bone in their body, at any moment that identification, if I’m paying any fucking attention at all to the world around me, can be utterly shattered.
And it’s been my experience that if I am at all actually living my life, my identity is shattered in that way often.
I guess even my identification with identity wasn’t safe from my bulldozer personality.