truth…I’ve been thinking a great deal about identity. I wonder often how many of my shortcomings are self made, self taught. How many things have I spoken into existence?
This struck me recently as I was introduced into the idea of “memes.” Now, I was introduced to this word through the internet. I’d get a note on Facebook with lists of questions and asking me to fill in my answers and pass it on. This IS a sort of meme but strictly speaking the common use of meme is this:
A meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with “cream”) is a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. (The etymology of the term relates to the Greek word μιμητισμός (pronounced /mɪmeɪtɪsmos/) for “something imitated”.) Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures.
The broad definition is rather lofty, so much more so than the idea of filling in answers to questions about myself in my estimation. It got me to thinking though about how I create myself. I’ve begun to recognize that my identification of myself as an “introvert” while describing me has the potential to define me as well. In using these words am I limiting myself? Am I using this label as an excuse for behaviors I don’t like about me?
I tell people often about my aversion, even phobia to talking about or seeing blood. Do I cling to this or is it something I want to throw away? Can I throw it away? One hope I have is to become a doula one day. Having this reaction to blood is probably going to work against that there dream, yes?? I make these things true when I spread that information and embrace it as mine. It’s the embrace, really, the desire to keep and nurture this “made truth” that makes it a part of me. This is the “selective pressure” needed to bond it to my cells so that it can replicate.
How much power do I have over my limitations?
How much power do I give my limitations?
How much do I sacrifice in the name of “identity?”
I have a lot of questions.
One thing I resolve for 2010 is to stop filling out random answers to questions, stop assuming my identity is rooted in a multiple choice quiz. I don’t feel I’m any better known for this practice. The best way for me to be known is to be engaged in my struggles, not pegged and boxed and filed away for later. People who want to know me will just have to walk me a little way down the road. I’ll be known by how I respond to a rock in my shoe or a storm approaching and not simply by the form I filled out before we began.
Rather than being a book; written and open…I’m a garden; growing, dying, coming back to life. This is where I want to live next.