Identity (or Something Like it)

What’s around the corner?

All our lives we as a race or as a people search for our place in this world. Some folks would call this a search for their identity or their purpose in life.

Since people can be broken down into individual compartments of personality traits, emotions, wants, needs and aspirations it is easy to see why we constantly seek  our purpose or our niche in the world.

In High School I took a class in sociology 101. It was an elective course, meaning that it was not a required part of the state dictated curriculum. I had taken the course because I’d had a huge ‘blow-out’ with my drama teacher and quit the drama course as a result. That left me a whole semester with nothing to do. My ‘school mentor’ suggested I try the sociology course to fill the time.

I am glad I did. It gave me a better understanding of my fellow man and introduced me to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

This brilliant chart explained so much of how we interact with one another both as groups and individuals. The entire course helped me to become aware of how people go through life in search of different things at different stages in their lives. Did this course make me an expert? Hardly. But it did help me to understand my fellow-man and how we interacted socially.

Man is in essence a social animal. Constantly wanting to find a place to fit in. Some people find that belonging to a church fulfills that need of belonging and helps them to define who they are and what they believe in, their identity if you will.

Others join different social clubs, a book club, movie club, the rotary, the roundtable  et al. Very few people have the conviction or courage to be their own social group. Someone who does not require other ‘like-minded’ people around them to define them.

But whether you are a social animal or not, we all look for our place in the world. If we did not, why are there so many religions and variations of the same theme the world over?

Our search for identity may lead us to be many people or to join many different groups. Who is to say that this is bad? This search for identity or belonging.

Success is not a sign of identity, nor is failure. These two states of being are too fluid to be permanent states. No one ‘wins’ all the time just as no one ‘loses’ all the time. Success, besides the monetary connotation, is a state of mind, just like failure is.

There are many people in the world who are deemed to be successful by societies standards, yet by their own personal standards these successful people brand themselves failures.

Why?

It all comes back to that lifelong search for self or identity. If we have not found out who we really are and what we truly believe in, we cannot be a success. Each individual has to find their own personal identity. One that has nothing to do with the social aspect of living, but has to do with their own personal journey and their discovery of what they really are.

So until we discover our identity or something like it, we will continue to search. It is in our nature, perhaps even part of our DNA, to walk the path of individual worth and self-awareness.

On the road to nowhere?

It is a challenging journey and sometimes a frustrating one, but it is one we all have to take.

Vampires

Bill Compton (The Southern Vampire Mysteries)
Bill Compton (The Southern Vampire Mysteries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Vampires, we are told, are fictional creatures that suck the ‘life force’ out of us mere mortals. They are incredibly strong and can only be killed or hurt by sunlight, holy water, garlic, crucifixes and wooden stakes. These supernatural “un-dead” beings can either drain us dry and extinguish our ‘light’ or they can transform us into carbon copies of themselves.

 

Vampires are wildly popular in media at the moment. I personally think author Anne Rice is responsible for this upsurge in popularity. She really started it all with her Interview With  A Vampire. I think the less said about Stephanie Meyer‘s “non-vampire” series and it’s celluloid equivalent the better. In either case, the vampires are still considered to be fictional creatures. Whether you are talking about author Bram Stokers’ Count Dracula or True BloodsBill Compton, they are not real, but characters developed by pen and actor.

 

I believe though, that vampires do exist. Not in the supernatural realm but in every day life.  These ‘real-life’ vampires do not drain our blood. They do, however, drain our life-force. They also have to same power to extinguish our ‘light’ or to transform us into carbon copies of themselves.

 

These real-life vampires come in the guise of people with  ’Passive/Aggressive Personality Disorder.’

 

I firmly believe that Passive/Aggressive’s fit solidly in the vampire world. I’ll explain.

 

Anyone who has had a relationship with a Passive/Aggressive can, I am sure, attest to this. I had a relationship with a Passive/Aggressive for years. I still carry the scars. Scars that are mainly emotional, but scars none-the-less. Trust issues being the first and foremost. People who have had Passive/Aggressive’s as lovers, friends, partners, spouses, or family members can avow that they have the same affect on you as a  vampire.

 

They exhaust you by constantly keeping you off-balance. You will be: lied to, bullied, manipulated, isolated…well the list can go on and on. The eventual result of all this can be a kind of death. The death of your personality, what make you, you. It becomes lost amid the everyday relentless confusion and stress of dealing with a Passive/Aggressive. If it doesn’t “kill” you, it transforms you…into a Passive/Aggressive personality…a vampire. As effortlessly as osmosis, you will absorb the very personality traits that are killing you. And unless you escape, you will become the very thing that has been draining the very life out of you.

 

It is not entirely hopeless. Passive/Aggressive’s can be receive counselling. Unfortunately, it is a condition that is nigh-on impossible to cure. If you are in a relationship with one, at the very least, you might find out what has caused the Passive/Aggressive traits to develop, but that will offer you no real help.

 

I have no ‘ray-of-light’ message to deliver. I can only say that the internet has sites that offer help and support to people who find themselves dealing with Passive/Aggressive’s on a daily basis.

 

Google it. It may not be too late. There are forums that can help you ‘vent’ your frustrations, ask for support, or inform you as to just what the hell is going on. Give these sites a try. They could just save your “life”

 

Because God knows, holy water, crucifixes and garlic aren’t going to help you.

 

Vampire Killing Kit
Vampire Killing Kit (Photo credit: JoshBerglund19)

 

 

Dreams And Time

We all have dreams. I don’t mean of the “I dreamt last night I that I could fly” type dream. I mean dreams of what we want in this life. Our aspirations, our hopes and our preferred destinies. Some people dream of fame, stardom, or success. Others dream of keeping warm in the winter, having a full belly, being free from fear.
Often our dreams change.  They have to.  Life has a way of changing us and the way we see things. Situations  often cause this. Getting married, having children, just plain old paying the bills can change the focus of our dreams. Where once we dreamed of success or fame, we find that dream has shifted to our children.
 Another situation that can cause our dreams to change is time, or the sudden awareness of it. We get older. It’s a fact. As we get older, life throws up more obstacles to thwart and challenge our dreams. Work, marriage, divorce, children, and health are just some of the things that can cause us to change or even lose sight of our dreams.
Sometimes we even turn our backs on the dream that we’ve had for years. This is not done lightly. It usually involves a lot of soul searching and re-evaluation. It is never an easy decision and it is usually pretty painful. The end result is sadness and a realisation that perhaps the dream was never attainable or unrealistic. This happens to most people and it’s a damn shame, but it is part of life.
Time is the biggest obstacle to dreams we want to pursue. Time is fleeting, elusive and an illusion. I know what you’re thinking. How, you ask, is time an illusion? It’s simple if you think about it. When you were a child, time seemed to be an infinite thing. Remember school holidays? Summer break from school lasted practically forever. Now, if you are a parent, you’ll have noticed school summer “hols” are over almost before they begin. And although time is a constant, our perception of it changes with age. Time appears to go faster.  See? Time is an illusion.

Deutsch: Jack Nicholson bei der deutschen Film...

My daughter and I watched the brilliant film, The Bucket List the other day. For those of you who are not aware of this wonderful film, I’ll give you the Readers Digest version of the plot. Two very different men – Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson– are given a prognosis of impending death. Morgan Freeman’s character is making a “bucket list,” in other words, things to do before you “kick-the-bucket.”  The two men  then start trying to full-fill the list.  I thought of the film again today after talking about a colleague, that I have known and liked for years, who shuffled off his mortal coil suddenly and unexpectedly. He was not much older than I am.  I wondered if he had a “bucket list” and if he felt he had accomplished everything he wanted. If he had achieved any of his dreams…Did he even have any dreams.

Deutsch: Morgan Freeman bei der deutschen Film...

My dreams over the years have been folded, stapled, and mutilated. They have been usurped by marriage – twice, divorce – twice, children – twice, various job changes, and various life experiences. These are all things that, if given a choice…I WOULDN’T CHANGE FOR THE WORLD.
I  believe that even though time can be a real stinker, I can still have my dreams and pursue them. I may have to change them a bit, but, they’ll continue to live in me despite time and various other influences in my world that have tried to destroy them.
Time may cheat us from realising our dreams, but time can never kill our dreams. Only we can do that.