These days, I often find myself thinking about how identities are built in my society. There seems to be a great contradiction: the craving for distinctions such as stardom brings people to try to be in perfect conformity to society standards, those aspirations blending them even more in the mass. Therefore, originality is regarded with mixed feelings: disapproval is tinted with envy of the liberty and the confidence shown by the attempt to brake the mold, while misunderstanding and isolation of the original subject are alimented by the fear of seeming attracted to something definitely disregarded by the standards.
Sadly, such observance of conventions is also present in smaller factions of society. For instance, in the artistic world, one-to-many consider that having a strong impulsive instinct, disdaining the society's conventions, loving chaos and indulging excesses is the only true way of being an artist. Therefore, an aspiring artist having a reflexive and solitary nature, inclined to a moderate way of living and dedicated to improving his mind may feel isolated.
For people usually like what they know and what comforts them in their decisions, being similar to others is often the condition of acceptance in a group. Fighting for our individuality is a sometime hard, but very rewarding quest: for the individual, since our natural tendencies are the paths leading to our talents and passions, but also for the society, where a diversity of qualities and capacities is a wealth.
All these reflexions about identity, acceptance and society have been triggered by Sylvianne at Une fille louche. Some days ago, she decided that the beginning of the New Year was the time for her to think about what defines herself. To do so, she created a list of her likes and dislikes resulting in a sometime amusing, sometime melancholic collection of facts that make her the person we love. Following her lead, I created a list of my own, compiling 10 facts that make me a unique individual.
1- My name is the combination of both my parents' names: André and Carol Anne. When I was little, I sometime felt embarrassed by this constant connection with my most important figures of authority, but the more I grow, the prouder I am of bearing their names, for I love and admire them very much.
2- When I was a child, I decided that when I grew up, I wanted to become a fairy. Nowadays, my occupation is to concretise the visions of my imagination, so I feel I am being true to my younger self.
3- In my childhood, I had a twin sister. My little sister has always been tall for her age and being only a few months apart, we were often of the same height while growing up. Combined to the fact that we looked very much alike, people often mistaken us for twins, to our great pleasure: we liked it so much that we sometime wore the same thing, just to look even more twin-like.
4- I share my living-room/studio with Napoleon, my elegantly spoiled little hedgehog. Being a shy nocturnal creature, Napoleon is almost never seen before darkness falls, but when he does make his appearance, he is quite an entertainer.
5- I love to eat smarties while sipping tea. I sort them by colour, making an assortment according to my mood. It is needless to say that the recent disappearance of blue and green smarties has been a tragic loss, drastically reducing my possibilities of combination.
6- I highly dislike sleeping: if I could, I would never sleep again. It seems such a waste of time when there is so much to create!
7- I prefer writing to speaking, especially speaking on the phone. The words come so much more easily when I write, my mind seems clearer and my thoughts more elaborate.
8- I highly dislike large parties. When there is more than 8-10 people at a party, I constantly fight the temptation of finding shelter in the bathroom. Such receptions are often masquerades I do not want to participated to, feeling that everybody is playing a character, pretending to be enchanted to state polite banalities, appearing to be profoundly interested by the lives people they never care to see and agreeing so not to brake a fragile harmony. Furthermore, when many people speak at the same time, I tend to have trouble focusing on one conversation, so that in spite of my efforts, the little conversations I do have are often quite confused.
9- I love beauty. Then, I said it, the scary b-word. I enjoy it in all it forms: in the visual form, but also in acts, in thoughts, in odors, in change... What exactly is beauty to me is yet to be more defined, for this subject offers a vast and deep sea of reflexions, but it is for certain a great passion of mine, notwithstanding the fact I have been often told that it was a dangerous thing.
10- Creation is the occupation that brings me the most satisfaction, one thing without which I could not be happy. Expressed in painting, writing, cooking, sewing, photographing, playing or even imagining things that will never be, I feel I could not be defined without my creativity. And so I carefully cultivate it, enjoying reading, visiting, discovering, observing,...
And you, what makes you unique?