In a world where we are virtually more and more connected, I find it sometimes curious that people still feel the need to identify themselves according to certain movements, to certain trends. It’s like being in the same place, at the same time as other human beings is just not enough. Everyone still wants to « fit in », to meet certain socio-economic and cultural standards. To be honest, this has never really been my case.
In sociological terms, I am completely fascinated by categories and the ways in which humans have sought to classify their existence throughout our common history, but curiously enough, I sometimes feel like I have constructed my own existence in opposition to that.
For instance, let’s take the the example of nationalities and the feeling of belonging or sharing a common sort with people born within the same geographical frontiers. I come from Chile, but it would be extremely hard to identify me as a Chilean. On the contrary, most of the people that know Chile are quite surprised to hear that that’s where I am originally from. I live in France. I have for the entirety of my adult life. While many people could actually find some very Parisian characteristics in me, I don’t believe anyone would ever think that I am French. Even if this is currently the place where I feel the most « at home », I find it quite easy to feel comfortable and « at home » everywhere I go.
Pretty much the same thing happens to me with languages (another one of my great passions). My mother tongue is Spanish, but it is currently the language that I’m the least comfortable in, whereas I learned French as a teenager and… I couldn’t imagine my life without it. People are often impressed by my lack of accent.. and while I always enjoy a good compliment (who doesn’t?), I think that my relationship with the language goes deeper than that… it’s about my identity and the way I decided to build it.
While lost in recent thoughts about « the feeling of belonging » I came across a beautiful quotation in Murakami’s amazing 1Q84 that really spoke to me:
She seems to think she’s a special being that transcends classification.
I thought to myself… « Yes! That’s exactly me! ». You must be thinking « this girl is so full of herself » (well, aren’t we all?)… but I can’t help feeling like for once I found something that describes my attitude and posture in society… that describes my anti-categorical approach to my own identity.
This is what I’m all about… connecting the dots, bringing together little pieces of this and that and trying to make some sense out of it all. And that’s also what I want this virtual space to be… a space where I can share my deepest thoughts on transcending categories and classifications with you all.