What Defines you?

What do you think it is that defines who you are? Your job? Your hobbies? Your kids?

Don’t give me that “Well, it’s a bit of everything” crap standard answer, however deep you may think it to be. That’s a standard answer from someone that’s never thought about it. What is it that makes up that “everything”?? That’s the real answer people are looking for.

I dunno, in today’s world it seems so hard to find something that defines you. For my wife, she’s a teacher, and that’s not only what she does, but who she is. For her it seems so easy. She goes to school, she comes home, she gets her stuff together for the next day, and that’s it. She enjoys doing other stuff, but if she never did any of it again, she would be the same person, as long as she was teaching.

For me, it’s much harder. I have to constantly try and define myself based on my past experiences and what I want to be doing. What is it that is the core of me? Of who I am? What could you take away from me, yet me be the same person? Now that’s a much harder question to answer.

Now one thing I know you couldn’t take away and be the same person is memories. Many people effectively are the sum of their memories. I guess you could make an argument that all people are the sum of their memories, and their reactions to any given situation come from consulting those previous experiences. But that argument falls down (at least for me) on the fact that it makes people totally predictable. And people aren’t. Are they?

So if it isn’t just all memories, what is it? That’s an interesting question that I’ve not personally seen any research on. I’d love to see a study on people who have suffered a total memory loss and their new personalities as compared by people who knew them pre-brain wipe. Wouldn’t that be interesting to see how much of who we are is actually genetically wired into us?

But anyway, that’s all very interesting, but this debate is more about how you define yourself, rather than how your personality is built up. When people ask you who you are, or other people discuss you, what do you think they tell people, in order to give them an idea of who you are? – That’s an interesting area to have a quick aside into as it self. People all have faces they see of you – professional people may only see one side of you, so they get one ‘idea’ of you that they pass on to others. Some one that thinks you are incredibly professional might not know that your hobby is in fact strangling small mammals, and will extol your virtues to others not really having a clue about your evening predilections. Once someone has settled on an impression of you, it’s mighty hard to change that idea, unless you get convicted of assaulting nuns. You may not like someone for a particular event that occurred, and will tell everyone what an ass you are, but others in different circumstances may have a completely different story about you they tell others of. I find it very interesting that people can view one person in such radically different ways, yet still be talking about the same person.

I’ve found that often people behave very differently depending on situation and how they feel they want to impress others around them. You may tell an off color joke in the bar with friends, but you don’t do that in the board room. I don’t know about you, but I like to try and maintain some consistency about myself, and try and behave the same way everywhere. I truly believe that those who are the same everywhere are those that have more of an idea of who they are, and are less likely to try and mold themselves around what they think others expect. Or maybe it’s just my bloody mindedness. I don’t know. I’m sure my friends have an opinion.

Anyway, back to the point. Who am I? What defines me? Well, partly my job, although I honestly wouldn’t mind changing careers. Still something in entertainment or recreation – I’ve always been into ?aking people laugh or just entertaining them in general – but not necessarily what I’ve been doing for the past 10 years. I am definitely one of those people who works to live rather than lives to work – I’d rather be out having fun than sitting at a desk all day. Take my job away, or make me do something completely different and I’d still be the same person I think.

I have lots of hobbies, stuff like writing for websites like this, I like to educate the great unwashed in how my profession operates. I watch a ton of movies, and I read a hell of a lot. I have a ton of stupid esoteric info at my finger tips, and I guess that would go a lot toward defining who I am. I like to learn, but I don’t suffer fools gladly. I use humor to defuse situations and on initial introductions so both people will feel I am non threatening, and that they will remember me. I love the company of others rather than being on my own, although there is a time for that too – on balance though I would rather hang out that sit alone. I’ll even talk to people online when by myself just to have some communication going.
I love music, and wish I could play an instrument myself. Perhaps I should learn? I indulge in dangerous sports like sky diving, scuba and so on. I honestly believe that a little manufactured danger never hurts and often makes you feel alive. I try and work out a bit because I’m getting fat. Maybe I should lay off the pizza.

Ultimately I’m not sure any one thing defines me, but if you had to put it into one word I guess it would be something like “loud” or “gregarious”. Maybe even “drunkard” because I’m certainly not an alcoholic. They go to meetings.

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