"About me"

Comparing the two introductory messages of my compatriots with the one I wrote it's suddenly dawned on me how much I struggle to naturally follow the seemingly simple task of describing myself.

Indeed, in answer to the "About me" question that Facebook hoists upon me I instead present viewers with a long, and somewhat baffling quote from the Eastern Philosopher Alan Watts (a good introduction to his views here). Am I hiding from baring my soul, or am I actually emphasising what a difficult task it is to actually talk about "me" and the "self"?

I can offer hundreds of traditional platitudes if you believe that these are enough to understand who I am. I'm 22 years old and soon to arrive at the end of my academic education at Warwick University, I enjoy surreal nights out with mates, skiing and pestering my girlfriend and I feel that I have a good taste in music, with the basic talents necessary to write interesting music myself on guitar and piano.

However, those statements are more a description of what I do, rather than what I am. Is a man the sum of his actions? Surely the passage of time changes who I am; in the words of The Verve "I'm a million different people from one day to the next" and yet I'm still me, whatever the hell I'm up to.

From a psychological point of view then perhaps a description of my general personality may be more forthcoming. I'm quite outgoing, yet gain great pleasure from introversion, I gain great pleasure from the little things in life and am always questioning every presumption others seem to (something I share with my namesake in the Bible, a book I also heavily question) yet I don't take things too seriously. In addition, I feel like I am quite a naturally happy person.

This brings with it another problem. How can I describe my temperament without being able to compare and contrast with the experience of having someone else's personality? Take my statement that I feel that I am a "naturally happy person". Maybe this is utter rubbish, and most people in the world are on cloud nine compared to me. How can I really tell without being another person, even for just a second? The passage of time, as before, also has a great effect on temperament, mood and temperature.

So now I've determined two answers to the question about who I "am", both of which appear problematic.

Okay, let’s abandon them and move to an even more simplistic definition - my appearance. In this case, "I" am white of skin, dark blonde of hair and turquoise of eye. The funny thing here is that, in common parlance, we are happy to say that (I'll go into the third person) "Tom is white and dark blonde", but nobody ever expands the concept of "being" with an eye colour to say that "Tom is turquoise". You'd be considered patently mad if you went around saying that I was turquoise, but its somehow okay to attach one's "being" to two other colours found on one's body? I have real problems with this hypocrisy (detailed further in my Boar article here), and abandon this conception of being even more willingly than the other two - that's without even mentioning that, once again, the passage of time is bound to change this as well. I may be "blonde" now, but I may soon be grey...

So, perhaps I am right to abandon the attempt to answer the far-too-common, but completely unclear question asking who I "am". The questions "what have you done?", "how are you feeling?" or "what do you look like?" are much more straight forward and rational in comparison. Although the deconstructivist school of thought may wish to break down things like guitar playing to string twanging and air vibration, I'm averse to that level of pedantry. ;)

So, in the spirit of answering one of those simpler questions, here are some random things I have done:

- Played and recorded music with a couple of "bands"
- Worked at the House of Commons
- Jointly designed of the Hercule Poirot Drinking game
- Established a brand new society at Uni - Warwick Libertarians!
- Presented an award-winning radio show with Daniel last year called Mumbling On (more on this later)
- Skied down the steepest slope in Austria
- And finally, drawn this picture:

In other news, summer's finally arrived!



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