Posts Tagged ‘Identity’

I know this has been around for a while but I just recently saw it again and for some reason it struck a chord. I printed it and put it up on the wall at my desk. As I sit here I am trying to describe what reading this makes me think and feel but I seem unable to do so. All I can do is share it with you:

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Humans often act like pack animals. We thrive in company. Follow or lead others depending on our character. We seek affirmation in groups and feel safer in numbers. A mob can be vicious and commit terrible atrocities. A group can pull together and create wonders. The field of sociology has long studied the dynamics of groups and how we interact both within a group and en masse.

But as we first and foremost are humans and not mindless beasts (though this can be debated sometimes) we also have a choice if and when we want to be part of a group. We choose to be part of others, sometimes deciding to be alone and embrace solitude. Yes, there are situations when we are born or integrated into a group as children but as we grow up we, ourselves, decide what people to be with. It can be hard and a struggle to disengage from a group you belong to, just as it can be equally hard trying to fit into a new group.

As kids and teenagers we naturally meet new people and form groups through school and clubs. We try out new ways and discard others. Our minds are open to new ideas and new people. Then as we pass university and enter the world of everyday life and (hopefully) employment, a shift seems to happen. Our groups seem more rigid, set in their ways and harder to change. New people are not welcomed as easily and the boundaries of the group are guarded almost jealously. It is harder to make new close friends as an adult.

Moving country, city or even just moving from one company to another can be taxing. Yes, you will meet people and make acquaintances and even casual buddy’s but close friends? Have we become too guarded to let others in even as we try to reach out ourselves? What is the great fear? Have we become too comfortable in our existing sphere to let others in that could shake up our world?

Now what has brought this on, you might wonder. Well, I was reflecting today, as I went for a walk in the beautiful winter weather, that I have spent many times in my life trying to find new friends and new groups to belong to. When I was younger we moved a few times and then as an adult I have moved a good few times as well for various reasons. Each time it has been harder to find those friends and at times almost disheartening. I have a few good close friends that are very dear to me but for different reasons we all live quite apart and sometimes it just gets to me.

And now I will stop thinking too much…as I believe I might also suffer from cabin fever at this stage. Sigh.

Inconvenient

Posted: July 25, 2010 in Life changes, Rant
Tags: , , ,

Have you ever wished yourself far, far away? Away from your everyday job, your normal life? Wondered what would happen if you actually went somewhere totally different on your own? What would it mean? How would it change you? Would you find yourself being someone else? Would it make a difference? Who would you become?

These questions and some more have gone through my head at speed for some time. I do not know why or what it means. Maybe I am having a life crisis…very inconvenient to say the least. There doesn’t seem to be a specific reason for me having these thoughts. They just seem to drift in at times and mess up my normal day. These thoughts are not of the depressing “oh God, take me away from here, as I am so miserable” – type, as my life isn’t miserable at all. It is more of a subtle, teasing and gentle probing thought of re-discovering who I am without having my everyday life getting in the way. It’s frustrating.

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” I have gotten that questions since I was young and I was never and still am not able to answer it. I do not know. I do not have the faintest idea. How will I find out, will I ever find out?

After university so many go traveling around the world before they settle and start a serious job and life and this is said to be a great way to become more mature and to have fun before you settle down. I sometimes think that this is maybe something we should do when we are a bit older. When we have had both our student time and spent time working and had a taste of adult responsibilities. This is perhaps when we should take a step back and re-examine our lives.

These probing questions however seem to not only be about what I want to do professionally but also about whom I am as a person. They seem to question my very identity. This scares me a bit as I am unsure how to handle it. The even scarier part is that these questions come from somewhere inside of me and I feel stumped as I find no answers.

OK maybe a minor crisis… blast. So here I am sitting in front of my laptop sending out questions into hyper space or blog space or whatever you want to call it and am sighing aloud that it is very, very inconvenient.

So… when I started thinking about blogging, one of the first thing that I thought about was that I would start blogging under a different name. Mainly because I was feeling really hesitant about writing all this stuff that spills out of my head and what people who know me would think and if I’m honest…I was also a scaredy cat about it. This was not exactly something that I had ever done before. There is a certain freedom to blog under a different name. People who read it have no preconceived opinions about you and you can say things that you previously have felt shy about or thinking that others might laugh about. At least this is how I felt.

Lately I have started to re-evaluate my thinking regarding this subject. In the end of the day, if someone thinks that what I write about is stupid, laughable (in the bad sense of the word) or just plain boring..well, then they are entitled to their opinion and they don’t have to read what I write. Life is too short to worry about what everyone else thinks and as much as I would like it to be different, there will always be people who do not like what I have to say, who think what I say is stupid or just don’t like me as a person. I obviously hope that what I write is not totally horrid and that there are people out there that enjoy my silly rants about this and that but I blog for my sake as much as anything else. It somehow feels right to write down my thoughts even if it doesn’t always makes sense.

So, I guess I will just have to update my “About me” page now. I will still call this blog “Ivy Blaise’s Blog”, let’s just say that this will be my “alter ego” and considering that I have one of the most complicated names ever that no-one ever can spell or pronounce half the time ( will cover that rant in a separate blog entry I think), I think I will stick to “Ivy Blaise”. I have always liked the first name “Ivy” somehow and I took the name “Blaise” from an old tale about Merlin where Blaise was Merlin’s master and the one who wrote down Merlin’s deeds. I also have to confess that I am very fond of the comic “Modesty Blaise” since an early age. Ah well, I have never claimed to make sense.

So now to step two…update profile and see what happens after that. Am still a bit of a scaredy cat though… 🙂

I was sitting in my car the other day and I started thinking about what if I could go back ten years in time but keep the same experiences that I have today. How would that have changed my choices in life? A lot of things can happen in ten years and you do not always realize how much you change during these years as a person. It is not like you wake up one day and go “ding ding… I am now a different, more mature person with all the answers”. Right… like that would ever happen.

Somethings have not changed – I still find the same things as hilarious as before, I still am very good at putting my foot in my mouth and I still laugh when I get embarrassed and so forth. The changes have been more subtle – feeling a bit more confident with myself. I am more accepting of whom I am and the choices I make. Becoming more open, both to external change and to personal feelings. Going for what I want but at the same time becoming more aware of the consequences of my actions. Realizing that I should not be afraid to ask for what I want but that at the same time giving is equally important. A balance that I hope I will become better at in the near future. Continuation to develop as a person.

So I was playing with the idea in my head that I would be in my early twenties again but knowing what I know today.

Would I move to a different country again…yes.
Would I stay in the same jobs for the same time… no.
Would I pay more attention to people around me… definitely.
Would I say “no, thanks” more often… yes.
Would I say “yes, let’s go” more often… yes.
Would I start with martial arts earlier… oh yes.
Would there be many changes… some.
Would I be a much different person… probably not.

So has much changed so far? Not really. At the end of the day it has only been ten years. The fascinating bit is what will I be able to say in twenty more years? I’ll just have to wait and see. Will I ever wake up and go “ding ding… I am now a different, more mature person with all the answers” … most definitely not! I might change some more, maybe have a bit more cop-on…. but mature….naaahhhh…don’t think so. Will just keep collecting life experience points and enjoy each new experience; discard the bad ones and treasure the good ones.

Friendship

Posted: April 29, 2010 in Friends, Life
Tags: , , , , ,

Friendship,

This is an area that many take for granted but they shouldn’t. Having friends is not something that you can take for granted. Most of us have a good few casual friendships and people who we see often, if it is in work or in an academic environment, people who we have a laugh with for a period of time but once we move on we lose touch and drift apart. Sometimes these acquaintances become good, close friends but too often the relationship doesn’t change from beyond casual friendship.

How many of us have one or several really good friends? The type of friends that you can go to when you are happy, sad or just in need of closeness. Where you can feel loved for who you are, where you do not feel the need to put up any barriers or be cautious. I unfortunately believe that this is rare and when you find it you must cherish it always as it will bring so much joy and happiness to your life. A friendship is like any other relationship; what you put into it is what you get out of it.

I have made mistakes in this area where I have not made that extra effort towards friendships at times and where in the end you drift apart even though you once where very close. This is very sad and you do not realize until it is too late on what you missed out on. Sometimes you drift apart because your lives changes so much from each other and other times it can be distance and circumstances. We all make mistakes. If you are lucky enough to find one or more great friends, then it is up to you to nurture that friendship and to keep it going. The friendships that survive the years and distances are the friendships that last forever and that you always will cherish through life.

So here’s to my friends: I love you guys and you are the best. Let’s have many laughs to come.

Whom am I – have you ever asked yourself that question?

What  is it that can change  life…is it a moment, a look, a thought or something much more undefined?  It can be something so small that once the change has happened you are unable to find that defining moment that made all the difference. Change can sometimes also be something different from what you expect and sometimes not actually be a change, sometimes it is more of an actual state of being that previously has been hidden but always there. Hidden due to insecurities, fear of life, fear of being someone you want to be but afraid of taking that important step. Change can sneak up on you and then you stand there realizing that this is something you should have done a long time ago.

There are always different aspects of each personality, different faces that you present to the world depending on the situation. Most people are a bit different when they meet colleagues than they are when they are with their parents or when they are with their partner etc.  Let’s face it, you do not behave the same way when you see your parents as you do in work. It would make for a comic situation if one would change the behavior around for a day.

Most people have this imaginary picture in their mind of themselves;  maybe a slightly cooler, assertive or secure individual or whatever is your mental picture of choice. But what if you could be this person, what if all it takes is to find the courage to transform you into the person you deep down believe you are? I believe most people are too afraid to actually take this step, that it is so much more comfortable to just wistfully daydream and then blame the rest on whatever circumstances that are convenient. Have you ever seen yourself in the mirror and being spooked as you realize that your mental picture of yourself is so much more different that what you actually look like? I have done this countless times.

Always known that the person looking back at me is not a true physical representation of the person that I believe I am and how I should look. I truly believe that the mental picture of myself is fully achievable but, as it will be a tough route to go down and as I am and always have been a bit lazy, this is something that I have never actually tried to achieve. I have let things get out of hand and I am now facing a big challenge and the longer I wait the harder it will be. That in itself has been a stupid reason not to take care of things… It makes me angry that I just stuck me head in the sand, ignoring this. I truly believe that our physical representation on this earth in many ways mirrors our mental representation. The one is connected to the other and in order to make changes you need to look and work on both otherwise you are fooling yourself. A healthy body craves a healthy happy mind and vice versa.

I believe a change of sorts is starting to happen to me or better said has started to happen. I have spent a large part of my life so far to daydream, seeing glimpses of the me that I would like to be but always been too afraid to do anything about it. I always thought that one day maybe it would happen but mainly I have just laughed at thoughts like this, telling myself the get real.

I have always seen myself as several different persons, this does not mean that I have a multiple personality disorder :). I am one person that I seem to be to most people, the personality straits developed through my life from my experiences and decisions made and then this other person that sometimes comes out when I am in my most content, assured, passionate and happy state of mind.

I am not sure of whom I am and do not know if I’ll ever will find myself but I do know that I am slowly starting to see parts of me that before have been obscured. Maybe I am finally starting to become the adult I am supposed to be. The one that faith had in mind when I came into being. What scares me is the possible impact this will have on my life… am I really ready to plunge ahead and to take the consequences that could follow? Weighing that against the fear of what would happen if I ignore this change and just continue being someone less than I believe I could be. So this change has slowly started, what kind of changes you might wonder…well, not terrible much yet, just hints at what is possible. A feeling that I can be more than I am. The person that does not need everyone’s approval to be happy. The person that I am happy with, that can smile at the world knowing I am loved for whom I am. Knowing I can take control of my life, do what I wish to do and what makes me happy….

So here I am, slightly confused and at the same time high on the feeling that something has started to change. Standing at the edge of the cliff, holding me breath before daring to take the plunge.