What is identity? Is it a name we have, that we use like a mask we put on for Halloween? “A mask we keep in a droor, who is it for?” The Beatles, Eleanor Rigby.
Is identity more than a name, does it run deeper? How is identity shaped? Is our identity a reflection of those we have known?
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
― Oscar Wilde
According to Oscar Wilde this may be so .
But if we are a mimicry of others passion, a mere quotation then why do feel so deeply about things.
In my life, I have taken on aspects of other, people have influenced me in my beliefs, yet in the end I choose if I accept a belief or follow a path .
In all honesty I am nothing like my brother when it comes to beliefs, I have developed the ability to do certain numeric aspects in my mind and look at things from a financial aspect, but I still have my own passions and beliefs.
In some ways I think the Bard expressed part of this very well in Hamlet, when he said, “We know what we are, but not what we may be.”
Our identity is a life time search, to discover what our purpose is, to seek out what we are meant to do and to leave an aspect of our lives to be remembered by.
My personal identity has been shaped in part by others, my father and I building scale models, me building them as an adult to keep his memory alive. Sayings and music that were associated to people no longer part of my life, weather due to losing track of one and other or them passing on.
Harvey Feinstein said “Never be bullied into silence, Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no ones definition of your life, but define yourself.”
My step daughter Natasha DuPureur (sp) told me the same thing nearly six years ago, when she came to visit the man who was marrying her mother. My struggle is still defining my sense of identity. I struggle to find who I really am, for so long I have put on the mask to fit in and I have never really found my true self.
My identity at nearly 54 is as much a mystery as it was when I was 18. I know parts of me, my love of all types of music this is me, and a way I express who I am, My love of certain Television Programs, movies and books; this too is part of me and who I am.
But I still do not know the whole picture, who is Mark Richards/Tamirisc M Dagda?
Perhaps this last quote sums up where I am, where my sense of identity is. For now, I feel as though I am only beginning to know myself, to learn who I am truly and finding out I am more than words can express. More than I can try and put here now.
I am only now, at nearly fifty four years old beginning to discover me. I know I am more than the things that I collect and watch and read. I know that I am more than the job I do and the people who have been and are part of my life, yet I do not know yet, who I really am, what my identity is, But I think it is a journey and maybe before I leave this world, I will know myself, my true identity. Here is the final quote that sums this up.
“We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it's our job to invent something better.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke