Our “identity,” who we consider ourselves to be, is essentially arrived at by default, assembled to adapt to something we saw as wrong or some seeming insufficiency. Mostly when we were young and learning to deal with life, we made decisions to get through the circumstances we encountered. Those decisions worked at the time, so we kept them around, inadvertently defining who we are today, and leaving us with a subtle but disconcerting inability to be fully at home with ourselves.
A kind of absurdity lies in acting as if who we are today is a compilation of those ways of being we put together way back then. Once our “identity” is seen for what it is, it becomes clear that it’s not fixed or set and we’re not in any way stuck with those ways of being. Stepping outside of our identity, however, isn’t so easy, as our identity has achieved a certain density throughout our lives. In recognising that who we consider ourselves to be is not an absolute, we reveal what’s possible in being human—giving us hands-on access to a world that’s malleable and open to being invented.