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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

How do you identify?

Identity. Humans are social, tribalist creatures, and evolution has made it so we find company within each other in order to survive. United we stand, divided we fall.

Identity and belonging are things I have always struggled with. Naturally, we are shaped by our experiences. My early experiences with other children (namely other girls) involved being left out constantly, laughed at, mocked, teased, and generally treated like a loser. As a result I learned early on to stand alone and that trying to rely on friends is a waste of time because everyone leaves you in the end. Of course there are a few close people in this world who I do love and trust very dearly. But I feel like a part of me will always feel its ‘Zarina vs The Rest of the World.’

I’ve written a few posts about my views on ‘national pride’ or ‘gay pride.’ Of course there is nothing wrong with identifying with your country or sexuality. People take pride and identification in all kinds of things. I simply find these things to be a bit more superficial as you don’t choose them, they’re just things you’re born with. Like I don’t particularly identify with all women or all brown skinned people because I guess those things don’t mean a terrible lot to me. Naturally there are some things I will get more as woman; maybe not so much as a ‘brown’ person, but I try to find identification more in character rather than biological attributes.

It actually makes a lot of sense to identify with people of a certain ethnicity/nationality as you, whether I ‘agree’ or not. That’s how humans have been for the majority of the time we’ve been here. We have always banded together based on what part of the world we’re from and what physical attributes we have. Xenophobia is being afraid/distrusting of those that look different to you. If a bunch of blue people with stripes on their bodies suddenly appeared on the planet, humans would freak out because those creatures wouldn’t look like us.

Fortunately overtime we have moved away from only banding with people who ‘look’ like us and identifying with those who think and feel as we do. This is where I (try) and get my identification. There are two things I identify with mostly in this world: artist and addict. I am an artist; music and writing are the things that hold me to the earth, that give me a purpose and keep me alive and happy. And I am an addict; identifying with other alcoholics, as well as others that suffer from mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, give me a lot of identification. I can understand how an addict or a depressive thinks. I can understand the hyper-sensitivity, the over-thinking, the blowing things out of proportion and irrational behaviour. I can relate to it far more than I can relate to a person that happens to be a black woman but has none of the above characteristics.

And then on a more intellectual level I relate to those that think deeply about things and like discussion and looking at the world. I relate to people that have a similar dark/dry/silly/inappropriate sense of humour to me. I find it hard to relate to people that I don’t consider intelligent; that don’t read or think about history and science and politics or question and analyse the world. Intelligent people tend to think alike; we’re arrogant to a degree, we think our opinions are right and we know best, and we want everyone else to know it. We look down on those that we consider intellectually beneath us and tend to ‘quarrel’ a lot among ourselves. I know this because Tyler knows this. Haha. It takes one to know one.
'You see us as you want to see us; in the simplest terms,
with the most convenient definitions.' 

There are so many ways that people can find a sense of belonging. Cultural/national belonging can make you learn about your history and find yourself. The LGBT community. Those who enjoy similar activities, like gamers or ravers or metal-fans. The goth/emo/alternative community. Sports-people find a lot of identification and ‘team spirit.’ The Hippie movement. Politically driven groups, like feminists, conservatives, supporting a particular Party; Black Lives Matter.

So finding a sense of identity and belonging is important because we’re human and that’s how we are. I’m not a cat (sadly). I can be as independent and loner-ish as I like, but I still need to be able to relate to a few other humans on some level, otherwise what’s the point of being here?
Video I made on 20 facts about myself.

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