And just who do you think you are?

"Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth." -Alan Watts

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Mostly about myself and my real feelings on everything that may pertain to my life. I really, really thought I had myself figured out- I really, really thought I knew myself. But lately when I look in the mirror- I see a stranger. Cliché, I know, but until you go through it yourself- you truly don’t know how real that statement becomes.

I remember that in my first year at Purdue, my English 106 instructor asked the class to write a one-page paper on who we are. Mine was a bit on the mysterious side, I suppose. If I still had the paper, I’d copy it on here for you to see, but you can thank a nasty virus that killed my computer for the missing paper. Anyway, the paper’s topic was mainly about myself telling the instructor about how a paper could never really explain myself to anyone, let alone to him. I said that I could easily tell him basic things about me: where I grew up, my financial situation, the type of music I listen to, and things that make me feel a certain way, but that nothing I say could ever really explain myself to anyone.

In retrospect, not even being inside my head could explain myself to anyone. I feel so messed up that I don’t even know who I am anymore. All I have is a name and a handful of opinions. I have hopes and desires. I have fears. I have strengths, but nothing as to who I really am. It seems that I really just cannot decipher anything to really say to explain me- there’s just too many small, insignificant things about me that seem to be covering up my major “who-I-really-am” adjective.

I can tell you that I’m a coward…
I watched V for Vendetta today. I absolutely loved it, and I felt that I could relate so much to the major character Evey. But at the same time, I don’t. You see, she faced her fears and became something she wanted in terms of politics. But me? I’m a coward. The government, my government, pisses me off so much. I get into several political debates with people, I run my mouth about how the president and his administration are ruining the United States, but yet- I don’t do anything. Why? Because I’m afraid. One of the things that really struck me in that movie was this line: “The people should not fear its government; the government should fear its people.” But yet, we all seem to have this fear- the fear that we’ll be labeled as a traitor and punished accordingly.

There was once a time when I took a stance against the government and majority opinion. I was in high school, and it was right after September 11th. That was when I was forced into politics. I had to be- it was impossible to not take a stance. I was against the War. I remember cutting an old shirt and making an Anti-War patch that I put on my purse. I remember the seniors (I was a Freshman then) seeing my patch and calling me un-American. They said that I was dumb, and that this war is the only way to be free, yet at the same time, I thought about the day in class when a substitute teacher asked if we would still dress like an American if we found ourselves in the Middle East.

I was the only student to say I would still dress as an American. The substitute said my position was dumb and deadly. I told her that if someone were going to kill me because of who I was, then that’s just what would happen. But according to those boys against my anti-war stance- I was un-American.

Now I’m just scared. I was told to take the patch off by my principal. When I wore an Anti-Flag shirt to school displaying the lyrics “You can kill the protester, but you can’t kill the protest. Bullets can’t silence ideas.” on it, I was told to turn it inside out and never to wear it again. The same thing happened when I wore my “Not My President” shirt.

Guess what happened? I listened. People told me that it was a worthless cause, and that I had too much at stake to risk my future over political statements that no one else apparently seemed to hold. I listened because I’m a coward. I can’t get in trouble. I can’t risk my future for freedom. Sad world, is it not?

I can tell you that I’m a dreamer and a poet…
As a young child, I had a very extraordinary imagination, to me anyway… I could picture anything and play it out in my head and really see everything there. For as long as I can remember, I’ve laid in bed and have placed myself as a character in some type of story that I would imagine in my head. Yes, I still do that. It helps me sleep. It provides warmth and security. Having this type of imagination leads me into my poetry.

I have been writing poetry for a very long time now. My very first poem was written when I was about 10 years old. (I’m 20, now) I don’t remember it very much, but I do remember that it was horribly written and was something about staying away from boys because all they care about is looks. You can thank my older friends for that idea. But as time continues on, my poetry does as well. By my senior year in high school, I had over 10 poems published- one being in my school’s yearbook. I also branched out into short stories and have had a decent experience with that.

Poetry, however, is just my thing. There’s so much emotion involved and the words and flow can just become something wonderful. I’ll admit to being a sensitive person- I’m the girl that will cry over many things- sad parts in movies and books, my friend’s heartaches and problems, national disasters and tragedies, etc. But the great thing about that is that I can put it into words that sound like they were meant to be together. I love my poetry. I’m not conceited- I don’t think that I’m something magnificent or anything, it’s just that my poems are so personal to me, and each one is entirely different from the others. Each one has it’s own story, it’s own memory. And people can relate to something I’ve experienced…

It’s a wonderful thing when people tell you that something in your poem was striking… I find, more often than not, that it’s not necessarily how it’s described in metaphor that’s so appealing, but that how you described it is exactly how another person felt it. That connection is just so astounding to me. It shows that we’re all humans capable of connections with each other on such deeper levels than just a regular communication. We’re all connected and that’s beautiful.

I can tell you why I choose to be a certain way…
I’m Liberal because I don’t believe the economy is the most important thing about a country. People matter, and if you make people the priority, the economy will fall in line with how it’s supposed to be. I’m Agnostic because humans can’t decide what being a God truly is about. Is God personal or impersonal? Is God someone to fear? Is there a God or Gods or is it something else, like a force or nature? I’m straight-edge because I believe that drugs and alcohol are just poisons. Neither help you live any better- despite what some may think. And whoring yourself around is just not living up to your true potential. I’m an English-Education major because I believe that good grammar is one of the most important skills a person can have, I love literature very much, and because I feel that I could change some things in education for the better. The list just goes on and on…

I can tell you so many things about me, and each one could be pages and pages long, but yet, it’s still just not me. I know exactly what I am on the outside, and I can see everything on the inside, but it’s just a puzzle with several pieces missing.

"One's own self is well hidden from one's own self; of all mines of treasure, one's own is the last to be dug up." -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Posted on June 14th, 2007 at 11:36pm


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