In decades of my existence, I haven’t been comfortable picking a single noun to label myself with. Labels/titles I donned (tutor, programmer, engineer, architect, tech lead, farmer) are rather incidental than aspirational while I went about doing what I could - Participating in meaningful ways with my drive to explore, learn, design, play, tinker, create, … - Experiencing, learning & living my life in the process.
I have preferred to assume roles in which I fit best in a given context, and have donned those titles. While titles serve their purpose in an impersonal world of work, I have often found them to be restrictive to the fluidity of my being.
I consider myself a perpetual amateur in everything, in a sense raw. Hence my chosen name rawjeev - a tweak of my given name that roughly translates to Raw-Life.
I resonate with what some amazing people have said about defining themselves:
“I never wish to be easily defined. I’d rather float over other people’s minds as something strictly fluid and non-perceivable; more like a transparent, paradoxically iridescent creature rather than an actual person”
— Franz Kafka.
“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing - a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process - an integral function of the universe”
— R. Buckminister Fuller.
“Give up defining yourself - to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious presence. You can only loose something that you have, but you cannot loose something that you are.”
— Jim Morrison
This however doesn’t mean I don’t have any identity. My identity I’d say are relative, contextual and different facets of who I am, changing & unchanging. Like words in a tag cloud that are shifting as the cloud changes, some labels become bold and big, some small and obscure. Here are a few labels, bold at this juncture in my life: Son, Father, House-husband, Gardener, Maker, Teacher, Pupil, Tinkerer, Tribesman, Seeker, Fool.