Who do you think you are? Perhaps, when answering this, you object to the very nature of the question since this is no guessing game; you know who you are! You know your core beliefs, your wants and desires, what you would and wouldn’t fight for, who is and isn’t trustworthy, what thrills you, what scares you; you absolutely know who you are, right?
I would argue, and will, that you don’t. You are incorrect. You can try to clearly define yourself but you have and will continue to fail. You do not get the luxury of determining who you are. That job has been taken. It was taken before you were born by your parents and everyone you have ever met has taken it since.
Who do you think you are?
In the visual world we occupy, other people get to decide who you are. You might choose to attend church, go to school, play on a sports team, be in relationships, interview for a job or just exist in public but by doing so, you have given others the ability to define you. They, your pastor or teacher or coach, interviewer, significant other or stranger on the street, own you!
Simply by taking one look at you, they have decided who you are. Sure they can get to know and understand you more but they, I, don’t necessarily need to. The styling of your hair, the tightness of your jeans, the headphones in your ears, the color of your skin, your posture have given you away. By looking at you, they, I, know your financial state, your attention to detail and where you are going. It’s true, I absolutely do.
I’m no magician but I don’t have to be. The trick is simple, I fill in the information gaps that I want to based on how you present yourself. Even if you change an opinion or two down the road, I
determined decided your entire life’s story in an instant. Your hopes and dreams are gone, I popped that bubble when I shot the horse you rode in on. Smile at me and I might improve your outlook but steal my seat on the metro, sit your to tall head in front of me in the theater or take my place in line and you are going straight to hell since you are horrible, terrible and, quite obviously, the devil.
I, being God, can make all these decisions because you have told me who your are thus I am now your creator. If I don’t know your feelings or thoughts, I make them up and act accordingly.
For example, I was at the Verizon store last week to buy the iPhone 5 and I was judged. Yes I know, pop the cliché bubble of a 20-something city dweller buying a new iPhone but I am what I have – right? Anyway, the store manager helping me told me all about some sports bundle that I needed to get with the phone. I asked why and she said, after looking me up and down, that based on my size, apparent physical shape and shoes, non-athletic Pumas, that she assumed as much. Lower the gavel judge, the game is over.
I am now your creator…
In this particular instance, this lady was wrong about my preference but it didn’t stop her from going into great detail about how I
could would use it. My purchasing intentions and appearance defined who wand what I was and I had no verbal say. I was what she thought I was.
When I got dressed that morning, I was preparing the world at large for athletic me. Other days you’ll meet preppy me, hipster me, Euro me, sweatpants me and so on. For all intents and purposes, I am essentially a Ken doll. Just dress me up and tell me who I am. Or, let your sister dress me up and you can decide for yourself…
We use mirrors to look at ourselves but we have no magic mirror. Even if it is true, we will not hear that we are the prettiest, smartest, coolest person in the land. No, the magic is that what you see is NOT what others see. You might see an attractive, confident lad who is ready for life but others will see/judge/define you into whatever they want.
Or, you might post happy, smiling pictures of you on Facebook that accurately mirror your life’s happiness but others might see it as a cover up. Who is right? You can spend your entire life trying to project an image of yourself to the world and whether it is true to who you think your are, or who you wish you were, it won’t matter.
The world is your judge and jury. They, and me as part of it, will determine who you are and care little, if at all, for who you think you are. So, as you get ready, think about which you will be shown to the masses. Which you will be the you of the day. Which you will be you today?