Sorry, who did you say you were?
Everyone’s got an idea of their own. It seems like the simplest thing too, but recently I’ve misplaced mine. I’m talking identities. Not who we are on a passport but who we are when we introduce ourselves at parties, or who we are when someone describes us to someone else in 30 words or less, or who we are when we are standing in a crowd and we want to know that we aren’t anyone else there. It’s our Unique selling point, our point of difference – it’s who are are.
For the last few years I’ve had it quite easy. Living in the US and then France I could kick back knowing that I had a ready made identity that would cut to the chase and separate me from the pack – I was Australian. If push came to shove, I was a traveller, a teacher, an intern, a tour guide and I even had long hair! Boom – separating me from the masses was as easy as getting that Friday song by Rebecca Black caught in your head (grrrr terribly catchy pop music!).
But now living in Australia with a shaven mane what sets me apart? Being in Melbourne I initially clasped at the country link and that certainly still lingers ‘ here’s my friend Justin, he’s from Tamworth’. This is quite unique, but I don’t feel that it represents me fully. Being unemployed doesn’t help as work is normally the first one off the blocks in the race to identity. So to get by I’ve been testing a few things out ‘I’m Justin – a writer and PR consultant’, ‘I’m Justin – slackliner and netball player’, ‘I’m Justin – I sometimes wear red pants’…
I’m now tending to think that this is the best way to go. I am now on the cusp of getting a job which I previously hadn’t even known existed and I don’t feel that it will in any capacity define who I am. I don’t want to just be a dark suit in the crowd, so I might stick to defining parts of me by the little things in life and keep people guessing.
‘Hi I’m Justin and I currently have two of my fingernails painted green and black, I’ve volunteered to work for an opera studio and I make up rhymes about marsupials’ – make of that what you will.