Last Updated on October 1, 2021
I’m currently reflecting a lot on identity – what it is, what it means, how it affects how we think about ourselves and others and so on.
I’ve realized lately that so much of what I think I “believe” is just tribal signalling, just trying to be a part of a some group, or blindly following the ideas of a group or person I idealize.
It’s a whole new level of nihilism to realize that even your own beliefs are junk.
I guess the identifying labels are useful – I can’t imagine a world without them – but they definitely affect rational thought.
On the upside, these labels help us make sense of our selves and our place in the world, but on the downside it can trigger some angst in times of changing identity, or when identity and reality don’t line up.
It reminds me of that old formula, I think it originates from a guy called William James
self esteem = expectations / reality
I am somewhat joking when I talk about having an “identity crisis” – hyperbolic statements being one of my favorite forms of humor – however I realized some of the times I feel anxiety it stems from a misalignment between my perceived identity and how I am actually spending my time. I’ve been through professional shifts – from building my own businesses, to working for someone else and back again. Also there’s been personal shifts, like from being single to in a relationship, or from not having kids to being a parent for the first time. I’ve found the shifting identity stressful at times.
My writing habit waxes and wanes. I guess the good news is at least I’m not currently having an identity crisis about being a writer who doesn’t write!