Looking for Dis-Identity: Who Knew?
For my generation, young adults were obsessed with searching for their identity. “Who am I, really?” “How do I discover my life’s work?” “What is my passion?” Speaking personally, I struggled with those questions for years, to the point that I identified myself as a person forever looking for identity. It took seven decades before I discovered that “my identity” was not an artifact that would be found outside of me, sort of like a grail lying in the bushes alongside a cow path. I was about to add that had I known what I know now, I could have tossed a dart, and built an identity from the path upon which it landed. However, that thought is for another post on another day.
It may be an unsatisfying identity, but I do have one. At least I have a series of habitual actions and reactions with which I respond to the impingements on my day. The predominant knee jerk responses are my thoughts. Would you believe that that exact same thoughts cross my mind when I brush my teeth? Worse, they are thoughts about events that occurred when I 14! The same damn thoughts popping up for sixty years.
So here I am working to Dis-Identify myself from my so called identity; working to unhook myself from the habitual thoughts, feelings, and actions that respond automatically. The process feels very disorienting; often I feel myself floating free, without the comfort of an anchor. There is a trade-off to the insecurity; space is opening that allows me to make real choices. I am curious to find out what those will be