I’m headed to Berlin in three days. This is my first trip to Europe. I decided to brush up on my history since I could only remember a few general WWII facts. Berlin’s history is dark and as a result, it’s citizens are conflicted about their collective identity. Which events/buildings/sites should be memorialized? Which should be buried in the past?

Imagine experiencing multiple traumatic events in one lifetime with your siamese twin: you want to deny these events occurred and your twin wants to talk about them often in order to find some peace. You are constantly trying to negotiate which part of your “story” is real and how that affects your identity. Heavy subject matter.

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to define your identity. The important thing is to be at peace with whatever story you claim. Eff the funk and proudly state who you are and what you represent. Baby you were born this way! When you don’t claim your identity, you spend your days walking around in another man’s shoes. That’s when things get messy. Maintaining a false identity is grueling. In a crowded room it’s easier to pull off faux fur than it is to pull off “faux genuine,” with or without the designer label.

Do what you say.

Say what you mean.

Mean what you say.

Say what you do.

Exactly.

Many thanks to Professor Karen Cardozo-Kane, Ph.D. for her insightful and challenging courses centered around identity and trauma.

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