The Changing Self, or Variations on an Identity

by maddrunkgenius

This is something taken straight from a post on a forum, but the post was written by me, so I figure it’s ethical for me to put here as well. I don’t say much worth saying so when I do, I have to recycle.

“As we live our lives, we have many different selves, and I don’t mean many different personalities or roles to play (although that’s certainly also true). As we live, we are continually changing, hopefully growing, but always changing. As we do, the person that we are continuously dies and a new person is born. The person you were ten years ago is not the same person that you are, the person you were one year ago or a month ago or a minute ago is dead, and you are dying every second that you learn something new, because that kills the you of the present and gives birth to someone else, someone who will act, react, and think differently, even if such a difference is only slight.

If you were asked ten years ago your opinion on such and such issue, you might have a different opinion than you do now, but even if you agree with your past self’s conclusion, you would almost certainly reach that conclusion with new and fuller information that you did before. To compare the two thought processes would be similar, no doubt, but still quite distinct.

Or to take a backward view, the people closest to a person with Alzheimer’s will eventually become unrecognizable that person. But such a person would also become unrecognizable to those same people because having lost those memories and everything associated with them, the person has lost a great part of him or herself. Grandfather from the summer fishing trips isn’t the Grandfather lying in the hospital bed who can’t remember your name.

So if you can agree with what I’ve just said, certainly not a given, do you ever feel as if you have changed so much that you would be unrecognizable to the child you used to be? Have you changed so much that your former self would be difficult for you to recognize? Or do you disagree and have always felt like a variation of the same singular entity, at times different, but still part of the same being?”

For all that, I really feel more like a different version of the same product, constantly being updated and improved upon. While I’ll talk about this sometime, I have no desire to be a kid again, or to be as I was before. I want to move forward and progress. I’m Insomniac By Choice v. 18.825 or whatever the devil it would be. Each update brings new features, and unfortunately new bugs, but the core values that are common in all of them are what make IBC IBC.

If this is the most recent blog, it’s a bit hypocritical to say so in light of my permanent top entry, but they aren’t entirely contradictory. Part of what makes me me is that I let my self be governed by my audience. It’s probably about time someone fixed that bug, I think.