The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Reasons to have an identity

It seems natural to have an identity.

At the same time, none of the identities we’ll be using fit completely.

Sharing that I was born Belgian is incomplete information. There is more to that story. If I call myself a woman, then this isn’t entirely true either. Apart from the fact that my first name has constantly created confusion, other elements have created confusion. On the phone, my voice isn’t always recognized as a woman’s voice and at first sight, people can still wonder to what gender they should attribute my look. And I don’t see any reason to deny some masculine aspects I experience in myself. I can also identify as a coach, consultant, and facilitator, however, that is more of a professional identity. It’s not what I’ll do all day long.

Figuring out one’s identity is an exploration that can continue endlessly. It never comes to an end and is never fully true.

I can also try to list all the details that make up what I can call an identity, which becomes confusing for everyone, including myself. There are too many of them, and whenever the list seems complete, there is something new one could add.

An identity doesn’t seem to be able to fully describe someone.

What it does, however, is highlight that one is different from someone else as that person doesn’t have our identity.

Having an identity is a means to say that one is different.

Pointing out one’s identity is a way to take one’s spot in a group and help others see how to identify with us.

Having an identity is a means to invite people to see how they are the same as us.



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