24 May 2007

who am i anyway?

Welcome back to the world of blogging, Self. Life and other writing pursuits have been taking up my time recently...and my blogging habits were pretty inconsistent to begin with.

Anyway, for a while, I have been contemplating blogging about my thoughts on the fluidity of Self in response to contextual factors. There's a lot of theory and research on this topic in psychology (especially from my mentor!), but I'd like to relay my personal reflections on the topic.

Having met so many different kinds of people and lived in different states and cultures, I have been exposed to a number of ways of life and being. Wherever I go, I seem to have a relatively easy time adapting to my surroundings. New York? Sure, I can get easily irritable and be in a rush to go everywhere. California? I'm hella chill, yo - compared to when I was in NYC anyway!

It's not just my temperment and geographic location that seem to be synchronized. I also have an uncanny ability to pick up the idiosynchrosies of those around me. This is the most problematic to me, for I start to wonder whether I have a stable sense of Self. Is there an essence of Steph, or am I just a pastiche of components of my context? Why does this even bother me? Is this a product of my individualistic cultural conditioning that asserts that each person should have a stable identity, unique from all others'? Do people who support the idea of fluid identities also support the idea of "personality?" The concept of personality fascinates me, for how it is studied and popularly considered, it appears to be a very dispositional (rather than situational) characteristic. While, I don't have THAT many existential crises, I'm going through a time of personal challenges, reflection, and growth. I'm trying to figure out "who I am" and whether this question matters anyway if that is always changing.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

I don't know as much about the psychology behind it, but it sounds like the adjustments you have made are totally reasonable adaptations to your surroundings and not in anyway betrayals of your true self, though I think it's good of you to reflect on this.