Travel Ramblings 2


How do you define yourself? That's a big question I've been wondering lately. So far as I can figure there are lots of ways people define themselves, combinations of all of them in varying degrees. There's what you do for a living, what you have, what you want, what you do in your free time, who you know, who your friends are, who you love. Of course most people have an internal image of themselves that does not depend on any of those external influences, but I'm guessing a fair amount is influenced by Stuff and Thing and People. As near as I can determine what I do in my free time, who I know/who my friends are and who I love are fairly big influences on me. I'm a geek because I tinker. I'm Scott's friend. I'm Dick's son - sure he's my father, but more specifically I'm his son. I'm Addie's owner - she's my dog but I'm her owner. It's a subtle distinction I know, and I see both truths, but it means a fair amount of my self image is derived from external influences.

All of which makes the whole prospect of leaving it all behind to go someplace new for a while quite interesting - and a bit frightening. I leave in about a month and a half. While I'm gone I won't know anyone around me - I'll meet people, but I won't know them like I know my friends and family. I won't have a job so I can't be what I do. I won't have anything except some clothes and a laptop so definition by possessions is out. I'll still have my friends and loved ones, but they won't be around me like they are now. I'm not going to sit around and do nothing, but I won't be doing what I normally do, so bye-bye to tinkering. So what's going to happen?

I'm not going to become someone new - I like me :). I doubt I'm going to "discover myself" - I've got a fairly good idea of who I am. No, what I think is going to happen is I'm going to have to be (or become) comfortable in my own skin. I think I am now, but I won't really know until that's all of me, the me defined internally and externally, that's left. No crap (save the laptop), friends and family thousands of miles away, I damn well better be comfortable in just me.

I can't wait to find out.


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