“What’s your name,’ Coraline asked the cat. ‘Look, I’m Coraline. Okay?’
‘Cats don’t have names,’ it said.
‘No?’ said Coraline.
‘No,’ said the cat. ‘Now you people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.”
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who
We’re Nature’s librarians, we humans. We love to catalog ourselves and each other. Politics, religion, height, weight, skin color, gender…you name it and we stick a label on it. How many of the labels are important for how we really identify ourselves? I’m fond of some of mine–I’d hate to give up “smart” or “funny” for instance–but don’t really care about most of them. If any of you would like my “short” or “fat” you are welcome to them!
While we’re very good at labeling, many of us are not so good at figuring out who we really are outside of the labels. OK, me. I’m not good at it. I’m sure everyone else has it all down. Not me.
Which brings me to the thing so many Americans find crucial to their identities: their job. Every year in elementary school they would make us answer that dreaded question. You know the one: what do you want to be when you grow up?
An artist? A writer? A judge? A brain surgeon? An astronaut? An acrobat? If you could be anything in the world, what is your dream?
I DON’T KNOW LEAVE ME ALONE I’M ONLY 6!!!
I’ve never really had that..one thing…the dream. It’s something I envy in people who do have it.
All of the personality/aptitude tests I’ve ever taken have declared that I should be a writer or judge.
I do like to write, but not enough that I’d want to do it on a regular basis. Yes, I do realize that I’m writing right now. Thank you for the reminder. Sometimes I forget.
Being a judge is something I feel more inclined towards. I love to judge people. Oh. Right. That’s being judgmental and I’m not supposed to do that at all. Why not? I’m really, really good at it!
I am such a dilettante, though. I am immediately “pretty good” at almost everything i try to do. Not prodigy material (except in being judgmental), but I’m talented at a lot of different things, especially if they’re creative. I can draw pretty well. I can sing pretty well. I can write pretty well. I tend to pick up musical instruments quickly and get pretty good at them. I’d be very good at a lot of things if I chose to work hard at them, but what I’m best at is lounging. World fucking class. You have never met a better lounger than me. Ever.
Which has nothing to do with who I am, does it?
Who I am not is the sum of my labels.
I have figured out that although having a job is important for many reasons, it isn’t who I am. You may not agree. A lot of people do identify with their work.
Which doesn’t really tell you who I am.
I also figured out that I could avoid growing up at all.
I know, and like a cat I’m not telling.