I

What is “Identity”? Why do we spend all our lives searching for this something called “Identity”? How do you measure yourself ? How do you define yourself ? These are some of the questions that have constantly nudged me from time to time. These unanswered questions have given me breathless nights, leaving behind an inexplicable hollowness inside me. A hollowness so deep, that I couldn’t fathom when did this all started. When was the first time I experienced this so called “existential crisis”, I really don’t remember that. But one thing I am sure about is they are lying behind me, these very thoughts have sheltered inside my body and it’s impossible now to get rid of them. I would have to live bearing this load of existence, like being aware of it every time, its subtleness and ephemeral nature and trying to make something out of it( In other words Identity Search).

Ever wondered the things around us play such a pivotal role, in how we define our Identity and how we see it and how those things shape our identity. Ever thought the things we use in our daily lives, that make our lives so convenient, play such a significant role in defining us? One of such things is: Mirrors. We decorate our houses with these pieces of glass, ignoring the power they hold.

Do you remember your first encounter with the mirror? When you stepped forward and saw a creature, the fine details, before which you only touched it and felt it, but didn’t know how it looked in front of eyes. I think neither anybody remembers of this first encounter nor the feeling of seeing themselves in person for the first time. It was just by seeing ourselves again and again, seeing that creature grow and noticing subtle differences with time that we became aware the truth. The truth of life and aging. Initially, as a child those encounters awed us and the mirror was just an object to play with, which in no time turned into finding oneself, and facing the reality in front of it. The world called us with different names but in front of mirror we were just “I“. “I” such a short and minimalistic word that defined our entire existence. We started measuring and judging ourselves with “I”. It was in every sentence: “I am beautiful”, “I am ugly”, “I am the best”, “I am a loser” and the worst case scenario came when we started saying “I am not good enough” , “I am less/more _____ than him/her”.

How much simple it could have been, if there were no mirrors? Imagine no mirrors and every body could see others but not themselves. That major obstacle of “self-consciousness” would be eradicated, people would be addressing the beauty and sadness of this world, nobody would be comparing themselves with others. The limits we set for ourselves would not be there. Our idenity would be simple as well as mysterious at the same time just like a white paper which is blank but holding so many possibilities at the same time.

The only spectators of our existence would be the other people. This shows how much our existence, our idenity depends upon the objects and people surrounding us. The things and people to whom we give importance play a very important role in defining us. These things whether it is a mirror, would either hold us back or would set us free. It’s now our choice, of who we give preference to and how much?

p.s. I am leaving this post till here. Still there is so much to talk about, I would be editing this post from time to time. Till then, what do you think about “Identity”? Tell me your views in the comments.


Featured Image credits: Unsplash.com (@sharonmccutcheon)

11 thoughts on “I

  1. It’s such a compelling topic that, I’m sure, touches everyone now and then. Though pondering could be subjective, there is a singular feeling of hollowness & dread that resonates throughout.
    It’s easy to get caught in the whims of I, me & myself specially now than ever so. But the concept of originality or as you point out, identity is lost somewhere in the desperate attempt of emulating a perfect lifestyle fanned by social media. Self introspection is needed time to time. We are constantly re-discovering ourselves and it’s important that we take other things into account than just ourselves when defining our purpose.
    Wonderfully written Pragati! Looking forward to the future edits.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pragati

      I feel really happy, seeing different views of the people and in the same way your comment has added a different layer to my post. Yes, you are right even though these things are subjective but pondering over them could give us shivers down the spin. And these things and what we think about our existence and what it means to us keeps on changing from time to time.(That’s why I will add any future edits that I have experienced, things that I have learned or unlearned about it).
      Anyways, thank you so much for adding value to my post. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In archaic period people used lakes and ponds etc to see their reflection, may be a shining plate.
    Well, “I”, “the purpose of existence”, the ultimate goal or “things”, “Now what?”. We succumb to these questions, and rationalize and leave no stone unturned to discern it, but eventually we just roam about the bush.
    Yeah its true in the humdrum of lives, in the technologies that we leach upon, scrolling down the screen as though we are intoxicated into it completely.
    We live life “insignificantly”, I could recall the poem by HW longfellow “the psalm of life”.
    (don’t tell me in mournful numbers,
    “Life is but an empty dream”
    The soul is dead that slumbers.
    .
    .
    .

    Dust Thou art to dust returneth
    Wasn’t spoken of the soul “…

    It’s a very subtle poem, I am sure you must have read it.
    This life is a test, and we live as though our existence is forever or as though the life is insignificant, we lie in the glitzy room blasting music, whislt ignoring the call the caller.
    Are we not ignorant then? yes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pragati

      Yes, I agree with you, that how much vicariously and in oblivion we are living our lives. And mostly don’t even address those complicated questions of their existence as they live in a delusion of living forever. Anyways, I have read that poem and totally loved those lines. Thankyou so muh for sharing your valuable comment. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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