Who am I?
A post by the always excellent Brandon external link (itself an answer to a post by Mike Grindle external link ) made me think about how I feel about my past and present interests.

Honestly, I don’t think I have ever identified myself with what I like. Even in my teenage years, when the first question any boy of my age would ask was ‘Which football team do you support?’, I used to bail out and profess ‘sports atheism’.
So, maybe my peers identified me as ’the weird guy who doesn’t like football’, but I don’t think that anybody really has ever identified me based on my passions. I have been the guy who liked listening to The Beatles, or the guy who liked Lord of the Rings (the book; the films didn’t exist yet, and I’m not fond of them anyway), or the Star Wars fan. And then I guess the movie buff in general. Currently, the guy who watches a lot of horror films for those new acquaintances who dare indulge me on this topic.

But, aside from helping family and friends to find presents for me for Christmas and birthdays, these interests have never defined me. Those passions have mostly come, stayed for a while and apparently vanished: just the other day I was thinking of giving away my copy of Le seigneur des anneaux, bought maybe twenty-five years ago (or more), when I thought it would be cool to collect a translated version of LOTR in each country I travelled to; I no longer have any Compact Disc at home; I own a lot of Blu-Rays, but none of any Star Wars film (though honestly if they ever released the original-non-digitally-enhanced versions of the original trilogy, that might change) - and even at the apex of fandom, I read a grand total of 1 extended-universe book.

That doesn’t mean that those passions weren’t important, or that they didn’t help me socialise and start friendships; even, the listicles about favourite musicians and directors in the sidebar of my first blog were the spark that led to a long-lasting relationship; and another one started with a joke about the Millennium Falcon.
And those interests are still part of me.
Now and then I will still listen to Abbey Road.
On my desk at work, I have a small Yoda action figure that my brother gave to me as a birthday present more than thirty years ago.
And it does help me remember who I am, or the path I walked to become who I am today.

And when I get home, I like to be welcomed by my print of René Magritte’s The Battle of the Argonne external link that I bought when I arrived in Brussels… and the egg-shaped piggy bank I bought at a Salvador Dali exhibition… and the Jack Skellington pen holder that a friend bought for me in 2012… and the Lynch on Lynch book I found in a second-hand bookstore in Cumbria during a holiday twenty years ago.
I don’t feel that I am the things I like, but I’m not separate from them either.
For people who may visit, they are clues to my personality; for me, they are mementoes, reminders of the several facets I am composed of. Handy to have around especially when, after a hard day at work, I may risk identifying with my job.