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Actually,this came to me in the form of a dream, but when I woke up I thought it was worth pursuing somemore about it. I saw "in my dream" my name in bold letters, papers behind it, and next to it to the left, many I.D cards.

This was something I really never thought about. To be truthful, I have always wanted to blend in; to melt into crowds or not to even be noticed in smaller groups.

But, for some reason, maybe my rebellious personality coming through, it never quite happened, especially if I spoke.

I now think that I have denied my personality and my identity the whole of my life

And, no, I haven't searched Google for identity either in the sociological or psychological domains. This comes frommy own musing.

I have always known that on some level I have a strong personality, but identity, no, I never even thought about it.

I have achieved many different things on many different levels, whether it be academic, in the art world or travelling around the world, but that didn't give me an  identity.

To have an identity, I realized, which probably I had but wasn't aware of, means to me dealing  with other people on an equal basis, and somehow asserting oneself in society.

Well, to have an identity also means asserting oneself with the outside world.

Maybe I sound like a babe in the wods but I've always felt like that I had no identity, no impact, no real relationship with the outside world, except maybe for close friends.  So this has been like an eye-opener to me: that I am  my own person and that I do interact with the outside world whatever the consequences...

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Comment was by Michel on November 21, 2012 at 10:38am

When I was very young child (5 or 6 years old) I was fascinated by what made people different from one another. What were the distinguishing traits (between my dad's two sisters for instance), but also what made unrelated people look eerily similar to one another. I was always struck by the fact that I was often the only one to find that two given persons looked somewhat "alike". My own sisters or my friends never agreed with me.

I guess that "detecting" identity (ours and other people's) is fundamentally an animal survival trait that we've evolved into a very sophisticated (and often convoluted - when applying it to ourselves) sense.

A few years ago I did this piece:

With this note:

"Identity

Any entity that is self-aware absolutely needs an identity. 
The defining parameters however are not that important.
The borders are essential."

Comment was by Adriana on November 21, 2012 at 10:05am

This is a very interesting post, Marianne, I never thought about it this way, but yes, personality is something we all have, it's kind of biology + nature, and you get one whether you like it or not. But identity is a much more complicated social construct. I have the opposite experience, I've always felt like I had a very defined identity, I wonder if it comes from my profession. It's possible because for me, becoming a scientist was a matter of life and death, it was "become a scientist or bust" kind of thing for me. Who really knows why? 

Great post, made me think a lot. Thanks!

Comment was by Matttammar on November 21, 2012 at 9:30am

I think that our uniqueness is inherent to the species. Most societies endeavour to reduce the range of identities by telling us what to think, how to dress and how to behave, even if we don’t break any laws.

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