Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.
Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland
Only the other day I noticed how rarely I describe my own character. Took a while to pick up on that one didn’t it? Over sixty years.
Very occasionally I might think of myself as a bit of a bookworm, but not often and I make sure I moderate the description with words such as a bit of a. Perhaps I don’t want to create too strong an impression on myself. So on the whole I don’t explore the possibilities of defining my own character. Are others equally reticent?
I suppose a verbal description of oneself is bound to solidify something - irrespective of whether it ought to be solidified. It is bound to create verbal channels, habits of thought which are seen as consistent with one’s previously defined character.
It’s not that we don’t do this kind of thing at all, this personal introspection. It must go on in a diffuse, partly non-verbal and somewhat unstructured way. But do we firm it up with unambiguous descriptive sentences? Do we define ourselves, clarify what we are and what we are not?
In my case the answer seems to be mostly no. I prefer observation and the fluidity of possibilities... Oops – is that a verbal description of myself?
Well maybe it is, but does it help to formulate a definitive verbal view of one’s character? I don’t really know because I’ve never done it in a structured way and I’m sure it is too late now.