Opinion

I am an identity crisis

Who am I? I like to think I’m an identity crisis mostly because I am taking the time to answer this question. The bumper sticker on my car comes to mind. It says, “I’m a natural,” using the musical symbol. Cute, I know. Some would say I’m clever, but others would say I’m a comical failure. I mean that in both senses of the phrase … clever, hm?

People struggle with the fine line between arrogance and confidence. I have a name for that line: Fareed Rifai. Wait, so where does that put me … exactly. I am ambiguous, but only for fun.

I am straightforward and self-assured. At least, that’s what one of my friends says. It looks like I am quite convincing. Sometimes I think of myself as a long reel of vague nouns that could apply to a number of people, but are special in the context of me as a person: thinker, student, dancer, artist, writer (too obvious?), Muslim, Arab, American, human, a colon followed by a closing parentheses, what? I happen to be all of those things. Talk about diversity.

I am me. If you still believe that I am suffering from an identity crisis, then the previous sentence should show you that I have learned the error of my ways. I started a Facebook group called, “People who know who they are.” And, so I say again with more impetus: I am me. Imagine it being said with Morgan Freeman’s voice through me. You know I am not kidding.

I am Fareed Aref Rifai. I am Fareed Rifai. I am Fareed. I am Freddie. I am Freds. I am Fretzel. I am Frederick. Disregard the previous three sentences … I despise those nicknames. The meaning of my real first name resonates with me. It means “unique” in Sanskrit. I am Fareed and I am unique. Well, there surely must be somebody remotely like me. Nope. How do I figure that? Yes, you guessed it. Because I am me. That doesn’t answer the question. Think about it … it still doesn’t answer the question.

Um … I am a realist. I am not talking about the realism artistic movement. I am a lazy artist. I don’t feel like movements are the best use of my time.

I am balance. Don’t mess up my zen thing dude. The Yin and Yang symbol was modeled off of the clothes I am wearing right now. Black sweatpants with a white brand name and a white t-shirt with black letters on it. I love the fact that Taoists thought of me all those years ago.

I am humble yet expressive. I am funny, yet not funny. I am close, but far. I am black, but white. I like that this works geographically because the Middle East is between Europe and Africa in a strange way. I am smart, but stupid. No, I don’t think that one works because obviously I am, um … stupid.

I am about to conclude. I have concluded. Read an article on Jedi Mind Tricks for further explanation.

September 25, 2011

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Fareed Rifai


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