on identity

identity. 
the subject of countless novels, films, poems, and even late-night conversations, prompted by a lack of sleep and the urgency to say something meaningful. 

it is strange what we find our identities rooted in. 
for some, it is rooted in intelligence. grades, clever speeches, the appearance of intellect. 
for others, it is rooted in appearance. the latest trends in clothing and accessories, in hair colors and styles, in styles of dress. 
and for still others, it is in lack: i don’t watch television, therefore; i don’t eat meat, therefore; i don’t believe in God, therefore–trying to fill a space with negatives. 

identity is not something to be taken lightly, or something to be found in fleeting things. 

yet i find myself doing it. 
i surround myself with things that i think will convey a certain image, or a certain idea. silly things, meaningless things. the plates i eat off of, the bedding hugging my mattress, the sweet little animal tethered to my wrist. 

identity, like so many things, is really just a means of justifying the practice of living for self. 
loving clothes, books, coffee, obscure music, independent films, bright colors, popular television shows–none of this is wrong, inherently. 
but when every move is calculated, is intended to build up this idea of who i am or who i want to be–this is wrong. it is perpetuating a cycle of self-involvement that will never end, because i will never be able to attain the idol (myself) i have built up in my head. 

and it’s funny. idolatry is not something i think of in terms of me. i think of it in terms of money, of objects, of people or deities. 
but when i am only serving me, me, me, i am my own idol. 

an idol that will always, always let me down. 
will always pale in comparison to who i am intended to be, and who i was created to be.