Who am I?

You are confronted with this question no matter where you go, who you meet or which website you visit. You are asked to describe yourself, say who you are in order for people to get to know you better.

For most of us, this is the most difficult question anyone can ever ask. The answer is never easy so we need time to think, and the answer we come up with, is almost always a reply to the question: ‘What we do’, not ‘Who we are’. The more you look at the answers of others to this question, the more variety you see, and the more you realize the problems we have, trying to find an answer to what seems as a very easy question.

youre-a-ghost-driving-a-meat-coated-skeleton-made-from-stardustWe identify ourselves with our religion, educational history, marital status, career, passions, birthplace, nationality, relation with our family members, looks and many others similar to this. You will hear answers similar to: ‘I am a Christian’ or ‘I am a writer’ or ‘I am a mother of … many children’. But are these a reflection of who we really are as individuals or a reflection of what do we do in life and how we interact with others?

Who really are you, at the deepest of your existence, without relating to anything and anyone else? Who are you, as identity, without association? Is our brain even capable of coming up with an answer, which doesn’t use other elements to describe ourselves or without replying instead, with ‘what do we do’?

Whenever we talk about an object, animal, person or nature, we use other elements common to us, to relate to, and describe it. We need to compare it with someone/something else, in order to find a spot for it, in the natural order. If something isn’t easy to add to a specific category, it’s a misfit, and we’re not sure how to deal with it. Describing it becomes much harder, and accepting its existence even harder.

When we describe something or someone, in order to make it stick better in our memory, we’ll think: ‘ it looks similar to… it’s bigger or smaller / taller or shorter thank I am, the hair is darker or lighter’.  Most of the times, remembering only the color or shape isn’t enough. When we try to remember the location of something, we first have to remember the location of something close by, in order to give a precise reply about the  location of the object we’re interested in. Our brains can’t help it but to make connections with other familiar elements.

“The human body is 90% water. We are basically cucumbers with anxiety.” 

cucumbers with aniety

We apply the same principles when it comes to telling someone about ourselves. When we think about who we are, we can’t help it but think about our passions, job, likes and dislikes, environment. Because we can’t really describe something so complex without turning to familiarity, we have troubles not telling someone what do we do, when we’re actually trying to tell them who we really are.

It seems like our minds are limited when it comes to giving such a complex answer, especially when we put a daily effort into guiding who we are, towards an idealistic self, which we want to reach. We try to change who we are through clothes, possessions, media, without realizing we can’t really change the core of our being.

In this huge Universe, the right chemical components came together during just the right chemical reaction, forming life, which eventually evolved into you. Our true identity is much more than our minds can conceive.

Our first contact with ourselves, happens when we’re born, and we learn how to work with our bodies. For the first time, we identify ourselves with a body. Even from a very young age, when we know nothing about DNA, we know that every person is unique, and we start to recognize our family members by the way they look or sound.

Even if, from a molecular point of view, we’re all built in the same way, those few small differences makes every single one of us unique. From a molecular point of view, we’re all a small individual Universe!

More exposure, experiences and more contact takes us from ‘I am a body’ to  ‘I am a multitude of bodies’, into one. We become more individuals under the same self, all from a different stage of our lives, each and every single ones of them, with their own passions and needs. We are a variety of ideas and elements, united under the same person. And still, all we can think of when we’re being asked ‘who we are’ is … what we do.

So, who are you, if you remove religion, race, nationality, marital status,  passions, career and any similar elements from your thoughts?


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44 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. That is a very interesting article !

    In my opinion, if people ask others about who they are it’s because they to want to know if they share common interests or not, it’s a way of getting to now other people. I don’t see it as a very deep and philosophical question, I find it as a way to break the ice and start a friendship.

    And I think people describe themselves the way they think they matter (If they value their jobs they will say, I’m an artist, I’m a doctor. If family is really important, they will talk about their children.) or the way they think it will be the most appropriate regarding the situation (at a work conference, you won’t really say stuff unrelated to the job)

    And to answer your question,”who are you, if you remove religion, race, nationality, marital status, passions, career and any similar elements from your thoughts”, I would say that I’m not me, because all these aspects make the way I am.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very interesting way of seeing it, Gin! Thank you so much for your reply.
      I was curious what others think of this. Maybe I got too philosophical about it after I’ve been scrolling through some Twitter profiles lately and I seeing so much variation. That really make me think of what people understand by who they are.
      I think you are very much right. Most reply with the most important aspect of their life, the one which makes them feel proud of themselves 🙂
      Thank you once again for reading and for sharing your thoughts on the matter! x

      Like

  2. It’s a difficult question to find a proper answer…According to our ( Hindu) sacred book the Bhagavad Gita, we are here to perform some pre-destined duties and to spend some time on this planet…just for some time and then, we will be get united with the infinite, the ultimate creator. Our physical body is mortal but we have an eternal soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very difficult to answer indeed. You can look at yourself from a spiritual, cultural, social and scientific point of view. None of the answers will ever be similar, but they will complete each other, to form … you 🙂 I just don’t think our brains can come up with such a complex answer right now.
      What you mentioned is valid for every religion, as all believers wait to be reunited with the creator. I think, in the end, we’re all a form of energy, which leaves either a positive or a negative trail behind us, when we pass on. Our bodies are nothing else but a temporary residence. Still…who are we? 🙂
      Thank you so much for reading and for your beautiful feedback! Very much appreciated!

      Liked by 2 people

    • My pleasure! I saw so many different patterns in the past few days, that I just had to think about the real meaning of the question. It’s interesting to see what other bloggers have to say about it 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and for your comment! Have a great day! x

      Like

    • Thank you so much for the wonderful quote. I also believe that. Everything that we do gets combined to form who we really are. Every new action gets reunited with our previous ones. Quite an interesting way of looking at what seems like such an easy question 🙂
      Thank you for reading and enjoy your day!

      Like

  3. HI Lucy,
    I know Ralph (he guest posted for me this year) and Aquileana.
    I am having trouble answering your question. I would say I am a writer, teacher, mom, friend, wife, dog owner, relative… but you said to take away many (all?) of those things. I would see how others answered, but that would be cheating =).
    1:00 am here in California. Before I go to sleep, I wanted to come and let you know you are the first person to visit my site on the last day of the year.
    I am glad you liked my guest author’s SEO post. Thanks for the visit and the “like”.
    Before I go, I did want to ask–I recently heard of a tool that makes quotes absolutely gorgeous as yours are. I don’t remember the name of the tool. Do you know what I’m referencing? I wonder if you used that tool.
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

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