Thursday, May 29, 2008

Losing my Identity

Lately I have been reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. In this book, the author talks about our individual sense of identity and how it can create problems in our lives. During the course of reading this book it has occurred to me that over the past few months I have lost, or better yet abandoned, most of my identity. It's like the pieces of the way I used to view myself have been stripped away. To illustrate, a few examples:

Male. Biologically, I am male, there's no doubt of that. Everything from the shape of my face to the equipment between my legs testifies to that. I grew up knowing I was a boy and that boys are different from girls. I also knew what boys are supposed to do and that's what I did. There came a point when I started to question that though. And now I realize that it is irrelevant. I am still male but I do not identify with boys or men (nor do I identify with girls or women). My body has a gender but my ego does not.

Heterosexual/Asexual. Growing up I thought I was a normal heterosexual boy. I liked girls and wanted to have relationships with them. I flirted, I dated, I even talked about sex and told dirty jokes. I also planned on getting married and having kids. But one day I started to question that too. That's when I realized that the attraction I felt was romantic but not sexual. Then I found out about the asexual community and started to identify with that. I got involved with every aspect of the community and was even an administrator on for a while. I even started acting that part too, swearing off sex and looking down on the sexual world. These days that too is irrelevant to me. I still don't experience sexual attraction to anyone or anything so the label fits me. However, that label isn't part of the way I identify. I am asexual but I am not an asexual, if that makes sense.

With all of this sudden loss of identity I should be having some kind of crisis, shouldn't I? I'm not. In fact, it's liberating. I no longer have a load of unrealistic expectations about what I'm supposed to be. After peeling away all those labels I can finally see myself as I really am. And I'm free to be that person now.


Anonymous said...

right on.


Trix said...

Yes, makes sense. You stop trying to fit yourself into a category. Because you don't need further proof of your existence other than whatever it is you happen to be experiencing. Keeps things simpler. Thanks for articulating this. :)

Nika said...

That makes perfect sense that you are asexual but not an asexual. While it is a facet of your identity, it is not all there is to you. So that attitude is definitely very liberating!

Loving the blog.