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Who are you?

This question causes existential and intrinsic identity crises for the aware and unaware alike, and has a bad habit of flustering lost little girls

caterpillar who are you

I am Complicated. So very bloody, complicated. Seriously, how do you define a person? How to you break an identity up into digestible little bites for strangers to casually consume in a way that’s good for them, in a way that burns off into muscular understanding? There are so many options. Are any of them right?

I suppose, we could try defining me by what I do:
I write (blogs, fiction, creative nonfiction, academic essays, personal essays, journals, flash fiction, reviews, poetry, songs, snarky text messages, lengthy emails, correcting comments, questioning edits, random notes, lists upon lists, and everything in between). I read (far too much, but mostly things that are vivaciously potent and/or well crafted). I watch (people, TV shows, movies, plays, performances, musicians, slam poets, speakers, myself). I listen (to music, words, people, philosophies, nature, good advice, problems, speeches, snatches of stolen conversations). I dance (randomly at work, sitting in chairs, on my bed, in clubs, in front of various buildings, while walking, upstairs, around corners, through the kitchen). I work (out, on homework, as a communication specialist, on writing, on self improvement, on being an aunt, on dance moves, on trying to try, on listening). I learn (at school, at home, at work, online, in the woods, in books, in conversation, in silence, from my nephew, from my friends, from my family, from the shape of a cloud and the cast of a shadow). I doodle (on my hands, in the margins, around notes, on scraps of paper, on legs, on napkins). I analyze (everything and the conclusions that come from it). I talk (on the phone, online, in text, in the grocery store, to strangers, to friends, to the Internet, to myself, to my dog, to my family, about everything, about nothing, while making weird and moderately entertaining noises, to think, to discover, to learn, to communicate, for the sheer sound of words).

We could also define me by what I am:

I am a writer, a reader, a dancer, an analyst, a poet, a blogger, a communicator, and a bit repetitive. I’m weird, hyper, lazy, suspicious, paranoid, bubbly, stern, ugly, beautiful, spiteful, forgiving, hopeful, concerned, open, honest, vulnerable, intelligent, clever, slow, bright, scared, alone, loved, hated, misunderstood, embraced, overindulgant, excessive, eccentric, fashionable, and odd. I am a taker and a giver. I am selfish, restless, energetic, and excitable. I am profane. I am eager. I am a dreamer, a doubter, a skeptic, and a skiddish coward. I am brave and incapable of letting wrongs go unrighted without a fight, but I am aware that sometimes I must. I am a contradiction. I am thoughtful, loud, cold, jaded, warm, easy to laugh, quick to anger. I am an aunt, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a cousin, a friend, an inamorata, a stranger, a tutor, a student, and a teacher. I am endlessly recycled stardust. I am a dragon, a rooster, a monkey, a tiger. I am earth, metal, wood and water. I am a Virgo-Libra cusp, Capricorn rising, and Capricorn-Aquarius cusp. I am willing to suspend disbelief to dabble in astrology. I am aware the positions of celestial bodies contradict the ‘science’ behind it. I am too fond of patterns and the realities they expose to care. I am a lover of skies and clouds. I am an amateur photographer. I am a patron of the arts and private doodler. I am a health nut. I am conservative Libertarian. I am an intellectual explorer. I am L. Alexandra.

And I am also defined by what I want:
I want to become a world-renowned author, lecturer, poet, philosopher, character. I want to smear myself across the pages of history so lewdly that my mark cannot be ignored or mistranslated. I want to reform the American educational system into one that embraces individual personalities, skills, mistakes, needs, and the realities of the world and context of its cultures. I want to teach people to speak to each other, to try to understand one another without preconceived notions blinding their eyes and weighting their tongues. I want adjectives to be used with care, not bandied about as divisive terms that separate us from one another by colors, sexual bents, political choices, and economic means. I want an introduction to include a name and a smile, and to let questions and curiosity carry people toward the rest. I want people to smile when they make eye contact with strangers. I want the gnat obsessed with my eye to bugger off while I type this. I want to make you laugh. I want to make you think. I want to make you angry enough to ask me why. I want to see the world change into one that remembers that the connectivity of life, the universe and everything goes beyond the 42 and a classic novel. I want science to abandon its “Because we can” attitude and adopt a “Because we should.” I want to grow and learn. I want to trip so many times that laughing at myself becomes an art form. I want more than a paragraph can bear, and more than a single mind can manage, but most of all, I want to write and I want to understand.


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