In my forty-something years, I've discovered that it's nearly impossible to move through life without being defined.
Others define us based on their assessment of us - from their first impressions, from their overall opinions, and from what images come to their minds when they think of us. We define ourselves by similar methods or, as in some instances, by how we truly wish others would see us.
When someone says, "Tell me about yourself," what do you say?
Usually the first thing I tell people is that I'm a native West Virginian. I say that because, to me, being from West Virginian is important. I wish for people to know how much the state and the experience of growing up there shaped my life and how much it means to me still - 16 years after I left West Virginia. Case in point, take a moment to look at the text below my picture (to the right). Even here, on my blog, the first thing I mentioned about myself was being from West Virginia. The traits listed in my bio are important enough fro me to list and therefore how I obviously describe myself.
Also in my little bio, you see that I mentioned that I'm a Bon Jovi fan. It's no secret that I am, and have been for most of my life, a loyal and devoted fan of the band that hails from Sayreville, NJ. Little did I know, however, when I first heard "You Give Love a Bad Name" back in 1986, that part of my identity, of how people would come to define me, would forever include the words Bon and Jovi.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm forty-something years old. I graduated high school over 20 years ago and haven't lived in my hometown since the early 90s. I have friends from junior high and high school that claim when they hear a Bon Jovi song, even to this day - over two decades since we graduated high school, that they instantly think of me, remembering how consumed and crazy I was about Bon Jovi when we were in school. (To be fair, I was consumed and crazy about them.) Take a look at this small sampling of posts that various friends have left on my Facebook wall throughout the years:
See what I mean?
So, regardless of whether I want it or not, being a Bon Jovi fan has been and continues to play a huge part in how people think of me, of how they define me. And, that's okay. I mean, sure, it gets a little old sometimes, but the fact of the matter is that I AM and HAVE BEEN a fan for a very long time. It's a undeniable fact and people have a legitimate reason for associating me with Bon Jovi. And, the way I see it, I'm quite fortunate, for being remembered as a Bon Jovi fan is something very benign. There are by far and away worse things that I could be associated with.
As I said in my post, The Soundtrack of My Life, the song "You Give Love a Bad Name" truly changed my life. Had that song never existed, had Jon and Richie never penned those catchy lyrics, then a significant piece of my identity would be different.
What's something that has come to define you, whether you wanted it or not? Thanks for stopping by!
This is the fourth of twenty-six alphabetized blog entries that I'm publishing this month as a part of the 2016 Blogging A to Z Challenge. Many bloggers who participate in this challenge, select a theme. My theme is - "Whatever I Think Of."
For more information on the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, click here.