Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Describe Yourself

I wrote this for fun when an agent told me to describe myself in a 500 word essay. Enjoy.

I believe the order in which we describe ourselves is more revealing than the description itself. It is not so much the generic description we have prescribed to ourselves that leads to any definition but the priority in which these characteristics have in our life. We, as human beings, naturally organize our thoughts in a logical, sequential order to make sense of the senseless. To demonstrate I will describe myself in the order which comes most natural.

First and foremost, I am a twin. This feature does not just describe my sibling status, as I did not automatically mention I have two older brothers, but describes the oxymoron of being unique to the world by exist as the perfect copy of someone else. Twins are the closest you can be with any human being. You have shared the womb, you shared your life, your teachers, your fights and your celebrations. No one else can make these claims as strongly as a twin. So, I choose to be a twin primarily, because it displays to people my priorities: Family and closeness.

Secondly, I describe my heritage. I don’t believe that my heritage designates any more or less worth then any other human being. But it simply illustrates to the world that the group of people I identify with most is vital to my character. I want those who read my description to understand that I am proud of my history and to know that pride is a characteristic I cherish. However small or large the impact of my heritage has on my daily life, it is important to me that people realize that the fact that there is an impact at all is what truly matters.

Thirdly, and the most frivolous feature I mention, is my height. This is simply ego. Height doesn’t have any meaning; it’s just something I like to lord over others because there’s no control over it. I won the genetic lottery and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t change your mind and decide to be tall. You either are or you aren’t. I want people to know that I am confident in my stature and that I expect to be seen above the crowd and rather then in it.

I am a twin. I am Cree. I am almost 6 feet tall. At face value all these characteristics have very little meaning. In fact, from this description, you can’t tell whether you like me or not. But these are the characteristics I identify with. This is simply a conversation starter to get to know me. A 500-word essay couldn’t possibly encompass any person. It will only skim the surface of any complex human being without revealing their idiosyncrasies. We choose the pieces of information we can safely let be known without the risk of exposing our delicate identities and making ourselves vulnerable. Of those precious few details, I leave it to the world to evaluate and judge, as they will.

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