What is an identity?

An identity is how to identify yourself. Maybe what groups you associate with, whether it be religious, political, or otherwise. Do you have a nickname? Maybe a handle for your avatar, or just how you generally prefer people to perceive you such as “I’m a dad” or “I’m a husband”.

That’s all well and good, but what happens when your identity changes? For example, I have recently become an empty nester. This has become part of my new identity, and I’m learning to adjust to that. I interact with different people now and I’m not concerned about things like playdates and having to be responsible for a young person(s). Change isn’t always bad and in this case, it was just.. a change.

I also recently changed my handle due to circumstances beyond my control. I have used a specific nickname/handle/username for over 30 years and now, it’s gone. I have code I’ve written or contributed to using that name and know people in my online circles solely by that name. Being part of Gen X it’s a big part of what made me, me.

If someone said they had their identity “stolen”, one would understand what that meant. Identity theft generally happens when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud. The identity thief may use your information to apply for credit, file taxes, or get medical services. You now must get a new credit card, probably a driver’s license, new bank cards, etc. But what about everywhere you have ever created a login for something? Web sites? Forums? Maybe even some code or blog postings? But I digress.

Now what? I feel like I've lost a part of me, but we’ve been dealing with Covid for two years now, perhaps it’s time for a change. Maybe doing more of nothing will lead me to some new revelations about myself and maybe even to a new identity.