Friday, 17 September 2010

In Search of an Identity

A few weeks ago I blogged about the necessity of having a consistent and clean internet identity. That, to me, seemed to be the end of discussion on the topic of identities - although I knew that there was more to consider. In short order I find myself grappling with it again. This is partly because I have realised that one needs to be relatively comfortable with one's own identity before one can really develop an internet identity.

I cannot say that I'm really a person who has an identity - but I do not say that I have none. I think that most of my life has been a search for an identity, and I will continue to search for many years, I'm sure.

School was not, for me, an enjoyable time. I felt boxed in, and not allowed to be myself. This, however, just raises the question: what do I mean by 'myself? I've always loved reading. Over the years, however, it became a retreat from the world - an escape from the challenges that I could not deal with. Science fiction and fantasy topped the list of to-be-reads - mostly because they put me in a different place from where I was physically and mentally.

Many of my peers also classed me as an academic. Although the top academics were far more popular than I ever could have hoped to have been, this one fact somehow set me apart - ostracised me, in fact. Unknown to them was the hurt that this caused - mostly because one of my older brothers was a very strong academic and I never felt that I was quite up to standard. Knowing what one can achieve in one's own right (and I knew that I had it in me to achieve academically) doesn't mean that one necessarily achieves it. In fact, I rebelled against this particular box to the extent that I was eventually diagnosed with ADD, managing to fail both academic and music exams along the way. Yet another box for me to climb out of.

About the only thing that saved my sanity at this time was the fact that I played the piano. I would go to bed very frustrated with life and people, and would wake up equally frustrated. I practiced the piano every morning before school for an hour, and I have come to realise what a therapy this was for me. At the time I did realise that, as I was playing, I would start off angry and frustrated, but that as time when on, that anger and frustration would dissipate, and I would end the practice session on a far more stable footing with the world.

I do not think that the issues raised at this time were ever resolved - but things did start to change when I reached university.


  1. Good insight here. And good ideas for a character as s/he works through their own identity crisis.
    Mercenary? Yes. But that's what we do. ;-p

  2. Too true! It is we ourselves who get written into our writing ...

  3. Yes. And everyone we know, or can imagine. It's our struggles to understand, to reconcile, to win, to overcome, that we chronicle.

  4. Of course, we need to know and understand them to begin with ...

  5. I think we can chronicle the search without knowing the answer, and maybe it comes, and maybe not. _BE_ does a lot of that - chronicling the search.

  6. I guess that that is also one way to do it ... hmmmmm.

  7. Sure. There are probably lots of ways. It's how I do it. One way.