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woohooligan Oct 17, 2015
woohooligan NEW! Check out our best laughs from 2016!
Identity is a complicated thing... a number of scientists lately have taken to telling us that it doesn't actually exist. These researchers would have us believe that who we are is really just a soup of misconceptions. We're better at predicting the behavior of relative strangers than our own future behavior and moreover, it turns out we're even bad at describing our PAST behavior! Is it any wonder that we're bad at describing our current condition? We enjoy weak, milky, pumpkin-flavored coffees, but when asked, proudly spout how we like rich, black coffee! (Which, incidentally, nobody likes, because it's horrible! You may drink it, because you think you need the extra caffeine, or more likely because you want bragging rights, but you don't like it. It's physically impossible to enjoy black coffee.)

But if we're so bad at knowing who we are, then... who are we? Really? And is it any wonder that so many of us have this identity crisis in our early adulthood when we get out of our parents' house and suddenly need to find ourselves?

I tend to think (as I think most people do) that I've found myself. There are a few things I know. I know that I'm a 40 year old, white, American man. I know that I'm a father. I'm pretty sure I'm a father of three... I hope I'm a father of three. :P I know that I'm autistic... in fact, of all the things I know about myself, the fact that I have always been autistic is one of the few things I know for certain has never changed. Except that, for the first thirty years of my life, until about ten years ago, I didn't know that I was autistic!

But what else? Am I kind? Am I friendly? Am I a comedian? Am I an artist? On at least that last one I know there are some who might argue the point. ;P And can people steal those things from me? ;P

But maybe all that trying desperately to know who we are -- to find our own authentic self -- maybe that misses the point. Because we're always changing... Yes, I've always been autistic and I'm pretty sure I'll always be autistic... but I wasn't always a homeowner. I wasn't always a software engineer. I wasn't always a comedian, or at least, I didn't think of myself as a comedian until around ten years ago. Learning that I am autistic, practicing art and comedy, these things have changed me... and what will change me tomorrow? My car isn't a part of my identity... not really... I drive a Dodge Caravan because we needed more seats... but what if I could buy a Tesla? Or if I won a Tesla in some kind of sweepstakes? Would that car be part of my identity? I've certainly seen plenty of guys who consider their truck part of their identity.

In Hamlet, Ophelia says "Lord, we know what we are, but not what we may be." And I for one, don't think we should discount her revelation, just because she was driven mad! ;P We really don't know how life will greet us... a few years ago, I discovered that my ex-wife was developing Alzheimer's and had to fight for custody to care for my three kids with my new wife, Tiffany. It wasn't because I had something against my ex, it was because my kids needed someone who could take care of them and it was increasingly obvious their mother couldn't. That's the point: we don't know what tomorrow will bring, so shouldn't we be prepared to change, to take on whatever comes? And I think sometimes that requires a radical reinvention of ourselves, because sometimes the biggest obstacle in our way is our self.

Life isn't about being happy, being rich, being nice, being successful...

Life isn't about being anything -- life is about becoming.

How have you changed?



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Unka John Oct 19, 2015
Unka John Something tells me your comic is blocked in Heaven. I'd consult a medium but don't know anybody up there to ask.
woohooligan Oct 19, 2015
woohooligan Ha! Well, we know how He feels about Steve Jobs and apple products... if there's any kind of Internet in heaven, it's bound to be pretty net-nannied up. Remember, the library is still full of old-fashioned print volumes of "The Plan". :P
Unka John Oct 20, 2015
Unka John Hmmm....libraries...libraries...OH, you mean those places homeless people go to bathe and look at porn on the internet!
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