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  • Jameel Haiat

What Defines You?

This question always fascinates me for various reasons. My wife, Hilcia, and I talk about this over coffee at least once a week, and I think about it even more. Why, you might ask? Who cares? Well, I guess that's up to you, but, in my mind, it's one hell of a question. In the world of today, there are a million and one ways to define who we are. First off, I'm not sure if there is truly a right or wrong answer, but I do believe there are healthy ways and unhealthy ways to look at one's self.


First let me say this, definition and perception are two completely different things. How I define myself and how you perceive me are not the same. I actually don't give two craps about how people perceive me. I haven't for many years. If people like me, that's fine, and if they don't, then that's fine too. I realize that I'm not everyone's favorite dish, and that is completely super fine. I have my "tribe", we all do. I don't go about my day worrying, thinking, over thinking, whether or not people like me.

I will be the first to admit that I'm lude, tattooed and sometimes rude, but I speak my mind and I won't bullshit you. I'm multi-cultural, creative, a writer, an artist. I am sometimes sensitive, sometimes rough, but always supportive. These are all ways I define myself, and how I perceive myself. I believe these are healthy views of one's self.


But then there are other ways people view themselves. They cozy up to a brand, a model, a product. Some call themselves "Influencers" as if it's some important title (we all know it's just a newly minted and made up term for a salesperson), while others call themselves a "fill-in-the-blank" brand. Some people define themselves by the expensive car they drive (which, by the way, is losing money the minute you drive off the lot), or by the over priced clothes they wear. I've heard people say "I'm a Gucci, Prada, Chanel, blah, blah, blah girl/boy". How fucking boring.

Lately, I hear people define themselves by the Company they work for or have worked for. Not by what they do, mind you, but by the Company, as if they are owned by their employer. Imagine defining yourself as a cog, a widget, a gadget of a multi-national corporation that looks at you as a money making asset. That is truly fucking scary!


Wouldn't it be so much better to hear people define themselves by their experiences, their thoughts, their emotions, by the things that matter? I love to hear someone tell me about their travels, their dreams, their creative endeavors, their feelings, the stuff that makes us human, the things that truly matter, that are real and important. On our death bed, are we going to reminisce about the fucking car we should have bought? Or will we remember the time we dipped our toes in the ocean, holding a loved one's hand? Those incredible memories of life, the one's that that are heartfelt and emotional and real are what should really define us....


Or maybe I'm just putting my own concept of "definition" on you? Screw it, you decide....


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