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The Mirage Of Identity (Or "If You Walked Inside My Shoes Then You Wouldl Understand")
It is funny how people seem to take great delight in deciding what someone is like when they first meet them and use that image throughout the duration of their contact with them - even though the exact opposite may turn out to be true.

You don't need to be Albert Einstein to take a couple of educated guesses about me and be correct.  I am a human and my first name is not from England.  (If you know anything about Dutch names you will know that I am female even without seeing me.)

For the rest I am not necessarily as advertised.

My passport, Birth Certificate, Educational History and Work History, will all tell you that I am English.  Born, educated, and employed in England.  Then ask me to define myself - Not once will the word "English" or "British" pass my lips.  My answers will range from "Half-Dutch" (technically correct as far as my parents are concerned), to "Dutch" (I feel happiest either in Rotterdam or on a car ferry heading to it), to "European" (also technically correct).

My glasses will tell you that I have a "slight" defect when it comes to my vision.  Put it this way - I don't call myself a member of the "Bat Brigade (Blind As A)" for nothing.  Whilst I prefer my world in its natural blurred state I realise that I have to conform to the ideals and limitations which society places on me and wear glasses wherever I am likely to interract with the rest of the human race.  (There is one good things about being almost technically - if not legally - Blind.  If I am nervous around someone all I have to do is take my glasses off and look at the blurry blob I am standing in front of.)

My CV  will tell you that I have experience of working in an office.  What it won't tell you is that I want to make a career in writing because that is my true passion.

I honestly have no idea what my friends would tell you about me.  (Every time I get asked that question in job interviews I end up wishing I had asked a couple for their telephone numbers so the interviewer could ask them direct.)  My friends nearly all have differing experiences of being in my world depending on our interactions.

However, there is one thing which really bugs me.  People who decide they know how I am feeling either because they have been through a similar experience to me or because they have some textbook "ideal" of how I am going to react to something.  (The textbook "ideal" is the quickest way to upset me.)

I know I have said before that "Someone", by Kristyna Myles, is my favourite song.  If you want to know why go to the "Big Issues" section of this website and look at the first post on it - then listen to the song.  I managed to shock someone when they followed that advice.

Another of my favourite songs is another "Speaking" song (as in the lyrics are deep and really get me).  This one is "Who I Am", by Richie Sambora (I nicked one of the lines from the chorus for the part of the title of this blog post in brackets).

One of the most applicable parts of that song is "Who I used to be ain't what I am - if you walked inside my shoes then you would understand who I am.  I wonder who I am.".  The other applicable lyrics - which I really should get tattoed on my arm at some point - are "Help me now.  Help me now. God I feel misunderstood.  Trust me now.  Trust me now.  Who I am is good.... Help me now.  Help me now.  Find some hope inside myself.  Reaching down.  Finding out who's hiding in this shell".  (Good job I hate pain or I would get them tattooed on me.)

Labels are meant for jars - that is the only time when the contents of the container will not change (unless they go off for some reason).  Trying to stick labels on people just causes upset and trauma.  I have lost count of the amount of times when I almost lost all hope as a result of trying to fight a label which was put on me by some well-meaning professional or other.

This is going to sound crazier than most of the things I say but the biggest compliment anyone ever paid me was actually meant as a put down - the person who said it was seriously exasperated with me at that point - "You are not like my other friends!!!".

As someone who tries to live each day by my favourite motto of "Doe maar gewoon dan ben je gek genoeg" (or "Just be yourself you are crazy enough anyway") I just want to find out what it is like to be me instead of trying to be like someone else.

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