Multiple you

I’ve been struggling with this question myself these last past years. Yesterday, as I was revamping my CV again it struck me how much visual identity – whether it’s a cv, a blog, or your home decor – exposes significant ingredients of yourself to the world, but also varies greatly with time.

Identity comes from Latin identitās “the quality of being the same”. But is this really how you define yourself? With constant and immutable elements of your life? Woman… French… Ridiculously-shaped nose… Surely my singularity is fuller and richer than that.

Do you remember all your identities….

I was this happy ditsy little girl, pretty much clueless about anything, riding on my bicycle with my favourite infant doll carried in a baby-carrier, always lost in my imaginative only-child world, hating school and doctors, loving my ballet classes, our family camping summer holidays, our German Shepard, my snails breeding and my hamsters, busy with all the spring numerous funerals of baby birds who had fell from theirs nests I was organising…

I was this exuberant and excited French student trying to fit in a Buckinghamshire community, working as an au-pair for a family who seemed so prestigious to me with their important jobs, busy social lives, varied cultural outings… Then later, I became this French worker, undertaking a career in the catering business, ignoring what a B.A. degree could bring me, and just enjoying what freedom meant as a young adult living in a foreign country, experimenting with a culture and a language which wasn’t mine, references and a sense of humour I needed to grasp in order to belong and be integrated…

I was this suburban twenty-something, a living enthusiastic Golden Snitch riding freely with a smiling face on the 6:00am regional train to be in my baking lab by 7:00, preparing the batter for hundreds of fresh bagels, lifting 50-kilo bags of flour in the huge dough mixer, feeling as hype as an artisan coffee roaster, chatting with the English boys across the street who were selling fine British food products to local shops, impersonating perfectly the coolness of this village-cocoon in the busy center of Paris. That was my favourite identity of all.

Then I was an adult.

Being an adult isn’t so much fun. It comes with being responsible, professional, stable, practical, realistic… This particular identity is intrinsically linked with being a parent. The ingredients seem genetically modified as if “the quality of being you” is melting with being you and your partner, and your offspring, and your elderly parents, and you career and property…

It would be a huge benefit if I managed to find a way to be reunified with myself. Just like a blog SEO, I have to work on optimizing my inner content, my personal architecture and codes. These tasks would be associated installing plugins, improving loading speed and internal linking! Now that I think about it, maybe it’s the reason why social media has taken such a huge place in our world?! People are working on defining themselves as if they were a virtual highly attractive product…

41 thoughts on “Multiple you

      1. Yeah and that’s not how it goes in Hollywood movies, where they manage to keep everything rolling as usual even after having large families… ok maybe that was a bad example since most women in those movies seem to be housewives, I just remembered – the defining point in life being marriage (not kids)… something I’ve never understood

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Funny to imagine I had always refused to be a housewife – even when my daughter was born and I went straight back to work even though she was 2 months and a half – and now I’m stuck at home, jobless and deprived of social life!!! How f@$*ing ironic!!!

        … “An old man turned 98
        He won the lottery and died the next day
        It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay
        It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late
        And isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?”…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing that. Yes box of photographes can be a sensitive thing! I love your expression “moving on your way out”. It’s really the image I have in my head and it makes me think of all these distopian films where the characters find a wall beyond which they can’t go for some reason. The wall is adulthood!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was referring to many folks being egocentric self-obsessed and fixated with their own image, whereas other people are more interested in the world around them, other people etc. Especially when you were talking about: People working on defining themselves as if they were a virtual highly attractive product.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think modern society isn’t helping with the tv being full of the best baker, the best cook, the best B&B owners, the best bachelor… etc!!!! I guess many of us tend to treat ourselves as a product which always has to be updated every once in a while…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well observed, Vero. Those kinds of TV programs are meant to educate but when there is so many of them, it is like there is a message that we need to learn something. The bar is set higher watching TV program thank it might be just chatting about the same topic with friends.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hey Amanda! Happy New Year!
        I have a small collaborative project I might need your help with if you fancy playing along.
        Where can I send you the details? I probably still have your email address 😉 is it ok?

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      5. Perfect Amanda. Thank you for you help on this little project. It’s great to work on a group project and be part of a community which answers “yes I will!” whenever somebody is asking for help.
        I’m still waiting for clips which are due this week and the next so the whole thing will be edited by mid January.

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      6. Yes I did. Just saw it one hour ago while having breakfast!! I did mine yesterday but the weather wasn’t fantastic. This morning I had to scrape the windshields of my car so I’m hoping it’s freezing cold because the clouds have finally decided to give us a break. There might be an opportunity to do a sunny clip today 😉

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  1. I believe we have “multiple” yous, including many stages of our past selves, as well as now. We grow up and we change, but we also have different sides to ourselves in the present. I act differently around different people, from exuberant to shy. And it’s true that adulthood wants us to be categorized into one “you,” to be responsible, go to work, take care of the family…not to say that those things can be disregarded, but it’s important never to lose sight of your conviviality, your ambitions, and your curiosity to keep discovering the world. Constantly ask questions, travel to different places, learn something new every day: doing so makes us so multifaceted, and also very human!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve tried to follow all these rules… It would be interested to still be in contact with with maybe in 10 years, once you might have become a mother, and see if your perspectives have changed on the subject or not. I’d really like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A thought provoking post Vero. You’ve identified an interesting concept … that growing older is a process of of losing yourself and becoming defined by those around you. Partner, responsibility, parenthood, parent-care. Little by little, our identities get redefined. Most times, it’s not a bad thing, as it’s happening. Looking back though and comparing to the here & now, it can be sadly melancholic.

    On social media, it’s ironic that it can be both the embodiment and total loss of self. Those who constantly refine & hone their social media profiles do so to project an image of someone they’d like to be, or more accurately, who their audience wants them to be. That’s sad isn’t it ? to be so concerned about an image, rather than getting on with experience?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your comment Sandy. As I was reading it I thought how social media post differ with age… I notice regularly my 40+ friends post regular photos from “before” (memories, photos from their Childhood…) when younger people tend to post photos where they are at their best using filters etc. When really WE need the filters more than they do!!!! 😁

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think it’s a matter of degree. Everyone likes a little validation. Don’t we all appreciate a Like or a positive response on a blog post. And don’t we temper our social media posts & pictures, just a bit, according to our audience. Sure, I do.

        But at some point, some people go over the line .. the share too much & care too much about what other people think and how they’re perceived. At the root, it might be low self esteem to require so much validation. It might also be narcissism or infantilism. I think politicians (one in particular) who tweet are prime examples of the latter.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am in agreeance with your last point. Also well made was that there is a spectrum of balance. Where our balance lies on that spectrum will differ for everyone. Low self-esteem is a blanket term that, I assume has many different facets and causes, all which play into the need for validation.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey Nadia. You’re just in time!!! I have all the clips ready but I’m still waiting for the music so make sure you forward me your video before the weekend.

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