Photo credit Adam Cox
This year at WAM, mindfulness is an overarching theme present in exhibitions and programs. Part of mindfulness is self reflection – understanding identity. Of course, this got me thinking. What is identity? The definition may seem fairly obvious, but this word has certain nuances because identity is constructed in a different way for everyone.
My home town, Chicago, is a large part of my identity. I believe that deep-dish pizza, the Cubs, and even Ferris Bueller make up pieces of my personality. When I was at home this past weekend, not only did I want to catch up with my family, but I also wanted to catch up with the person that I was when I lived there. Because, as hard as it is to admit, I am no longer that person. After living in Minneapolis for over two years, I am going through a bit of an identity crisis. What does Minneapolis have to offer me that Chicago doesn’t? Years from now, when I reflect on my time here, how will Minneapolis have shaped my personality?
It has always been interesting to me that a city can be a part of a person because typically people are considered little parts of cities. Places shape our identities because of the experiences that we have accumulated within their confines. I am Minneapolis because of my many walks down St. Anthony Main, meals at Loring Pasta Bar, and nights at The Varsity singing my heart out at concerts. The city of Minneapolis has entered my life at a pivotal point and shaped me into a person I could have never imagined. I am different because of the place where I live, the activities I choose, and the people that surround me.
I encourage you to think about your hometown. What elements of that town still affect your life today? How would your “identity” be different if you grew up somewhere else? If Minneapolis is your hometown, what elements of the city have shaped you?
Chicago will always be me, but I guess a little Minneapolis doesn’t hurt… as long as I never become a Vikings fan.