Over-identification - abridged

We've heard that old line "To thine own self be true", but what happens when you don't have a self to be true to? We all have our own identities which have formed over our lifetimes which are influenced by what we see, what we're taught, the things we experience and, yes, genetics. Our personalities are impressed upon us. Sometimes we find people who are maybe too easily influenced by things.

I'm sure everyone could name a person they know of that has taken something a bit too far. Enjoying vampire stories is fine. Dressing up like a vampire for costume parties or conventions is all fun and games. Participating in vampire role-playing games is a bit different, but still OK if maintaining proper boundaries. Its those weirdos who say that they are vampires that are a problem. When you start taking your hobby to be a "lifestyle choice" then you really need to start taking a step back.

You can watch a ton of BBC, mimic a nifty British accent, and even be able to toss around the slang like a champ; but that doesn't make you British.

My dad worried a bit about me getting too into some of the sci-fi, fantasy, or horror stuff I enjoy. I've never been so far gone as to claim to be something that just doesn't exist. I like reading the stuff. I like writing the stuff. I even enjoy sometimes RPing the stuff, but I haven't done that in quite a while.

Role-playing is often like method acting. You try to place yourself in that role. However you've also got to be able to pull yourself, or more accurately your self, out of the role. Its very tricky, especially online, to know when someone is starting to take it too far.

Sure it gets to be obvious when you see pseudo-kook behavior like dressing like a vampire for no reason or learning to speak Klingon. But sometimes you get things that are a lot less obvious, but a bit more disturbing. Like people taking on a new religion because of something they experienced in fiction. That's right, sorry kids, you can't really do magic, the Force is not with you, your inner Thetan doesn't exist, and there is no Heart of the Cards. You belief system or faith should not stem from entertainment. What's sad is that there's an actual need for me to state this.

There's also issues with sexuality and gender identification. You can read and enjoy literature and entertainment featuring characters of different sexual orientations than yourself, and if the work is particularly well done, you may glean some valuable insights from the work. Now, as a guy, I like lesbians. Most guys like lesbians. They like girls. We like girls. It all works out. And certainly we had a good chuckle in the pool hall when some nutball defined a lesbian as a person who enjoys performing oral sex on a woman and, surprise surprise, the pool hall was suddenly packed with lesbians. However, no one in that pool hall suddenly discovered that he was really transgendered yet still want to date girls.

I met a transgendered guy in college. His name was Jeff, but everyone called him Jenn. He'd wear dresses to parties and kept his appearance very feminine. He didn't arrive at this point of self discovery from reading a funny book.

There are things, and they are important things, that you truly need to suss out for yourself without looking to an outside source. You're you. You are the person that has to live with yourself and you don't do yourself any favor by trying to cop to being something you are not. I like entertainment that inspires me, but at the end of the day, I am who I am. No book, TV show, movie or celebrity is going to change that.

6 comments:

Kristiine Havener said...

For this particular individual, this "life choice" isn't something sudden or new but rather a long time coming. For real. And I feel this is insensitive not for the opinions held but the choice to write on it.

Marty Nozz said...

Unfortunately, there's a necessity behind the insensitivity. I'm finding this isn't an isolated thing and its cropping up more and more, especially in young people. If these life choices and self discoveries are genuine, and I'm not completely ruling out that they are, then there is some serious self-reflection that needs to happen way from outside influences to bring it to a full healthy status. I'm seeing a pattern that causes me concern because of the potential if its left unchecked to become destructive. So yes, writing about it was extremely insensitive, but bringing this into the open could potentially help some people. I didn't make this choice lightly or in any way maliciously.

Marty Nozz said...

For the sake of peace in the e-family. The post has been edited.

Kristiine Havener said...

I understand; I do. The edit is nice.

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