Identity — Do You Really Know Who You Are?






For generations now, Identity, it's been rammed down our throats. Just drop by any bookstore (if you can find one) and go to the self-help section. There you will find what I'm talking about. There's probably about a zillion books written on the subject, Me. 


When I look at myself in the mirror—I've been doing that for 65 years now—I usually ask myself, the stranger looking back at me, looking stranger everyday, Who are you? I never get an honest answer back.


I think I know the guy in front of me in the mirror. I'm familiar with each of his 70 trillion cells, each and everyone of them is connected somehow. A countless number of these little creatures leave him everyday, a countless number more are born. Judging by my size and that shrinking feeling, I'm losing more than gaining, at an alarming rate. Soon I'll be a shrivelled up old prune but I can't help it, that's life!


In fact, we have a relationship, him and I. We are quite intimate, I have more knowledge of myself than say my own doctor does and many of my ex-lovers. I'm not bragging, just stating a point.


Besides knowing the usual things like; I stand and walk on two feet, meaning I'm bipedal, unique to us humans, or I have elbows half way up my arms, I also know I'm only left-handed when I write, I also know I don't dye my hair and I've rarely been without a beard. You did not know that about me.  


Along with the other 7.3 billion people on earth, I breathe air, drink water, eat and sleep, but unlike most of them I was born in New Brunswick, grew up in Hamilton and now live in British Columbia. I love spinach. Collectively, something that is unique to me only. 


I imagine, I should be in awe that all my 70 trillion cells are still somewhat working, that I should be grateful my heart is still drumming out a song, at it's regular beat, without stopping after all these years but I'm not, I'm more terrified than in awe. How many more tunes are left in this old juke-box? The possibility of what could go wrong, the dynamics of my 70 trillion cells, all working delicately together in unison, you've heard of Murphy's Law, what can go wrong, will go wrong.   


Last night I laid motionless in my bed just thinking, staring up at the dark ceiling, it must have been over an hour with my hand cupped over my heart, keeping a vigilante eye, making sure it didn't skip a beat and was still pumping, that I was still alive, until I finally drifted off to sleep. 


Now here I am, another day. Looking in the mirror, wondering if I really know that guy, looking back at me. 


Sure I do. It's me!




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