I was inspired by Jen’s last blog post about her obsession with collecting recipes she actually does not use very much. As a result, instead of writing another technical blog about our challenging journey in the development of Cyberlab tools, I decided to go light and fluffy here and, like Jen, talk about an obsession of my own – collecting postcards! (Although this blog is being written as I wait on hold with customer support for camera software troubleshooting – Got to love multitasking in counter-balanced ways).
Wherever I go in my traveling adventures, I always find time and ways to buy myself some beautiful postcards, which I have all the intentions to send to family members and friends but really never do. Also like Jen, I feel those are important to me and I always remember to gather these pieces of experience puzzles and add to a fairly organized storage system. Jen made me wonder and dive into a self-reflecting mode to ask why does she rarely use the recipes she so treasures? Why do I never send the postcards? Even though collecting those is such a part of who we are?
One answer popped in my head that I actually think I will go with. I said it out loud, “these collections are such a part of who we are”, and then it occurred to me, “a part of us”, perhaps it relates to giving up something unique in my case, that is somewhat irreplaceable and contextually rich with the stories a possible “recipient” may not ever know or understand. So I keep those to myself because giving a part of me to someone else is truly an altruistic activity, even in seemingly small representations like in the case of postcards.
We tend to hold on to our identities and what we think is part of it so tightly, partially because that is all we know and have built and it would seem like a gamble to give up and relearn. However, as we all have struggled to academically contextualize the concept of identity and understand its premises, it is clear the complexity of doing so. Nevertheless, you may not agree with me, but I think that having an identity is being a “part of” something beyond self, and that is why I only now recognized I am obsessed with collecting postcards, only after Jen’s words brought that out of me.
Jen is a dear friend and I did not know she collects recipes she never uses, and I bet she did not know until now, and if she reads this blog post, that I collect postcards. So, Jen… send me one of your recipes and I will send you one of my postcards. Perhaps we can start a meaningful “wheel of sharing” to give an added dimension to this part of our identity. In fact, you are all invited here to share your obsessions and join the wheel. Why not? After all we all have much to learn about each other and I thought that could be a very good FCL activity during the week of thanksgiving.