we all invent ourselves and you know me

From words of Michael Stipe to one blogger’s expression. Self-invention is a real thing and it’s beautiful.

Hello fellow life traveler! Can you relate like I can with the words in the image below? Like a captchya, I think they identify humanity.

The way I reinvent myself is usually from a visual stimulus. I’ll see something on vacation: a view, a work of art, I’ll meet a new person and I want to reflect that in my life. Sometimes ordinary settings cause me to be enlightened like the school where I teach or at home. Sometimes looking at my flickr or tumblr accounts will inspire a reinvention of sorts. I’m a very visually driven person.

There have been repeated times in my life where I was driven to construct a new me or a part of me. The most recent started with wearing my fedora hat. Before that, several years ago I decided I wanted to be a blog film critic and I started a movie blog apart from this one. I was very committed at first but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I dedicated myself to becoming something as a critic.

I hope I am always reiventing myself, even if the changes aren’t always permanent. An ideal life to me would be one that ended with the remnants of all the “reinventions” that lasted. I think the best end of a life should be determined so one can order the steps and decisions of the present life. After all, there really are no time constraints on us. Think about what Spider Robinson the eminent sci-fi writer said, “We are all time travelers moving at the speed of exactly 60 minutes per hour.” True huh?

If you consider yourself an artist, self-invention is fun. I love the REM lyric in Crush With Eyeliner. Michael Stipe sings: “We all invent ourselves and … you know me.” The allusion is, do we really know anyone? There is a lot of self invention going on. I know I am heavy into it myself. It’s like an art project for me but for others, they may not enjoy art. Guess what though? We are all inventing ourselves anyway whether we pay attention to it or not.

Another big example of recreation is in clothing styles. A few years back I decided I wanted to wear more v-neck sweaters in the Winter with white t-shirts underneath. That was a very wise one as it kept me warm and stylish. One way for me to see the many choices I’ve made about style is to go back through my flickr photos. You’ll see quite a few looks there. Do you have a flickr? If not, I highly suggest it for a lifelong app. Are there people who never alter their clothing style? Probably. I try to mix mine up once in a while.

I can’t close up this post without recommending tumblr to you. The images there give you plenty to think over. The best part about it is that you build the feed you read. There is no standard view. I’ve put together images and quotes from other tumblrs that I know have inspired me in the past. tumblr is fertile with inspiration for me. In your journey through time, I hope you find places you derive inspiration to reinvent yourself from.

Author: Damien Riley

I'm an online diarist, blog film critic, & podcaster. My views on films and life are often 'left of center' on, but I have respect for other viewpoints. I married my high-desert princess (now my queen). We have 3 children.