The interviewer has his face heavily punctuated with wrinkles, his eyes dart from side to side as you walk in. With all his fingers locked in on themselves and both thumbs rubbing against each other, he doesn’t hesitate to ask,
“Who are you?”
You’re as sure as ever that he has asked every single person who appeared before him the same question, but you can understand why. So, you pour yourself out to the panel of interviewers from what your name is to everything else you think defines you. What you will never understand is why he throws the very next question after you answered the first.
“Hold on, are you who you are?”
“I said, are you who you are?”
“Ermmm, sir, can you please ask the question in a different way?”
That is a true story.
Every day, you and I and everyone else answer the question of who we are right off the top of our heads. That is more because we have always known the answer, from the smallest of details to the biggest of them. So, it gets even easier to answer that question the more times we are asked.
But we have a little argument, one that we should resolve here together.
Michel Foucault said: “I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.” I don’t want to remind you that this man was a French philosopher and a literary critic. In fact, I won’t remind you, so that we both won’t be scared of putting a red ink on his paper.
I have questions that beg for answers: Is it really possible to focus on becoming someone else when what you are right now is unknown? Can a person really not know who he is? And finally, are you who you are?
Answering the first question would not be so hard for a blind man.
“Sir, please take these three bottles of poster colors. Mix any two or all three and give me an entirely new color. I know you’re blind and you do not know what colors I have already mixed. So, tell me, sir, can you change it to a color that it was not in the beginning, without knowing what color is here right now?”
You know his answer would be ‘yes’. Oh, did I remember to mention that all three colors are white? Now, how does a blind man make another color from the combination of three whites? I do not know. When what you are right now is unknown, becoming someone else is possible.
But, can a person really not know who he is?
Let us put medical conditions aside and focus on normality. This question, I think, is very broad because it encompasses the whole idea of what a person’s identity is. But, on a very basic level, every sane person knows what his name is or what he is called. He knows what kind of things he likes and what he hates. He knows what he can and can’t do. He knows, in short, who he is.
But, with my fingers still locked in on each other, permit me to ask, “are you who you are?”
A very good number of teenagers graduate from high school every year with frequently changing decisions about what they intend to study in the university. The reason lies in that same question above.
It is without doubt that at every stage in an individual’s life, the answer to “who are you?” changes unapologetically. The change occurs so frequently that it may just have happened again, right now. For example, I have a degree in Accounting. But just before I graduated from the university, my focus had shifted, and I do not have as much enthusiasm for my profession as I had in the past. Right now, I first say “I am a writer” before adding, “oh yes, and I have a degree in accounting.”
Is this true of you?
However, we must remember that change is not optional and funny enough, an attempt to evade change is in itself an attempt to change a natural process. As Foucault said, “the main interest… is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”
The interesting truth is: no matter what we do, we can never always be as same and unchanged as the title above even when it is read from right to left.
Logical manner of presenting material, I must commend. You sustained my attention and presented this in a very conversational manner.
And, you know, the moment you turned your attention on education, I fell in love with the whole thing. It’s true that focus, educationally, can swerve. And yes, it happened to me.
“…and an attempt to evade change is in itself an attempt to change a natural process.” I will not forget.
For now, I have no other words to describe this piece of article than educative and interesting.
I Cherish and admire your logical presentation of idea.
You have what it takes to glued the mind and eyes of your readers to your writing.
Indeed, you’re not just a writer but a teacher.
It’s really captivating.
wow,it’s really interesting,it’s brilliant how u started and ended
Master writer. Excellent piece Sir.
Wow, am ward by your pithiness. Your command of the language goes without question…
A great writer you are!
This article is well written and captivating, I couldn’t take my eyes off the article. Well-done
Wow! What an excellent write up
The ink flowing from your pen is quite extraordinare. This work is a clear depiction of brilliancy and talent put together.
This is didactic.
You are so good.
Am I who am I?
This is amazing.
The changing discoveries of who you are and how it relates to your educational pursuits is quite disturbing. I agree. I learned to repair motorcycles from my dad and soon I thought I should be an engineer. So I studied engineering. It was after two years into the course that I knew that it wasn’t a blessing.
I should have studied computer science instead. Well, what matters in the end is becoming someone I wasn’t.
This work is enlightening. Very enlightening.
What a written up!
You started off with a vibe that got me pinned. And then, you pinned me down completely with the concluding lines.
Your writing is well articulated; from its title to its message. How come I don’t recognize your name? Thank you, NUHA, for revealing a great writer. Publish a book soon, please.
Wat amazing, write up
Wat an amazing story
Beautiful. You write well.
Wow. The question of ‘who we are’, is what we can’t really answer off easily. We just have to be who we think we are.
This is a wonderful read with an intriguing topic.
I’m not a fan of long written stories
I’m yet to understand how you got me pinned throughout this
Nice nice nice bro
I got tossed and turned emotionally right from the theme down till the end of the write up..Man what a solidified piece you’ve got here….I hope NUHA helps promote a great Masterminded like you.
Nice stuff, and thought-provoking.
Superb!!! What an exquisite piece with facts and reality
Nice one bro
Greater heights I pray
The write up is captivating and thoughts provoking, keep it up dear.
Beautiful piece! God bless your pen.
Very good work! You deserve the win my boy!
Great article bro..
Man!! This is it, this is just it…
You know, I’m careful to say that this is perfect but what more can I say..
This is just too good man, you are going places…
This is so true and I guess youths can relate more. Whenever we learn a new skill, we picture all the great things we could become in our heads so much that we forget all that we were before. So when I take a nice picture, I think to myself, “Oh, I could go on to become a professional photographer and make so much money, I’m that good.” And then tomorrow when I paint a really beautiful picture, I would think of all I could become as an artist.
The truth, as you have said is that we usually don’t know exactly what we want. But that’s not a bad thing.
I really love this. Thanks for the beautiful read.
This is more than passion, this is #Tobisalami himself
Writing itself is Tobi and Tobi is writing.
You have it in you bro
My heart goes out for this work👍👍👌
Phenomenal. My lecturer once asked a question “who are you? ” and the answer given was “I am……. ” he said “you do not know yourself “. You’ve just given me a free “expo” . Thank you for this.
Wonderful piece bro
Sometimes I wonder if we are what we think we are or what others perceive us to be. Life is indeed a mixture of paints.
You are a writer first, I agree with that
I thought about this yesterday and you just brought that thought back. I keep thinking of the kinda person i am. Like you rightly said, it changes……change is a constant thing. I can sure relate with this.
This article is really thought provoking. And until we find who we truly are, i guess we’re just going with the flow of life.
Kudos to a beautiful writeup Tobi.
A beautiful piece, richly embedded with truth and morals. This is a lovely woven piece Tobi.
I’m pretty much amazed at the beginning, it’s a wonderful piece and it’s captivating. I love it.
The question got me fast. And in a minute I was already reading the last line. A masterpiece. Highly philosophical and intriguing.
Tobi Salami is got this difference. A captivating difference…in writing. I knew you’d come this far, and even further!
My God! What a piece!
Who’s this Oluwatobi Salami?
I’m awed, and I’m everything else right now.
How he holds your attention from the very beginning to the end!
With everyline, you know he has something else to say, something you have to see.
It is all things good and beautiful!
I love it!
Short and concise.
Straight to the point.
You truly can write.
I love ur the last statement in ur conclusion.
This is really interesting
I love the way you started and ended your article
It was well presented . I makes me ask myself the same question ” who are you”
In summary; ‘You are always great’
There is simply no answer to this question.
since some day we’ll become who we weren’t.
this is a great Article
Wow! This is beautiful.
A great token of knowledge and a better understanding of oneself all offered in a perfect article mould, “keep up the good spirit” the world need more of such.
You’re so logical that I can hardly argue with your points, tho I don’t agree with some of them
This is well written and thorough.. great work dear
Well done Tobi…..this is educative and enlighten
A lady asked me, who am I l? Recently and I couldn’t even answer! But this piece has shed more light on some areas I haven’t even been paying attention to. This is great Tobi. I pray you win
A question that calls for deep thoughts.
I believe in you, Tobi.
You’re good and you rock!
I love this. More ink to your pen.
Nice one, bro.
Greater contents will you write.
Beautifully written… Well thought out and insightful.
This is great…
A very beautiful piece. Tobi for the win!
Lovely piece. I loved your choice of words and how easy it was for not so poetic minds like me to grasp what message you were trying to pass. And the last sentence got me. Went back to the topic and saw truly either read from right or left you’re still left with the same question. Kudos to you Tobi. Keep it up!
A compelling writing on self, identity and an evading self. The truest ever response to who we are, is a step towards a celebration of our personhood…
Compelling! Tobi, for the win.
Compelling article. One who sheds light on some dark places we’ve ignored always. Tobi, for the win.
How do you do this? Damn! This piece is well crafted; beautifully painted, and totally enlightening… Thank you! Thank you NUHA!!
Wow, that’s why everyone loves your work. I enjoyed reading this one. You’re amazing. Keep up the good writing spirit.
a brilliant and awesome writeup worthy of all the praises, expressed simply arranged professionally and painted artistically……. well Tobi Salami
“The interesting truth is: no matter what we do, we can never always be as same and unchanged as the title above even when it is read from right to left.”
That line got me thinking. Good job man!
I enjoy your presentation, it always thought provoking, especially this, made me realize so many changes in my life lately, also I again recognize that change is constant in all areas of our lives.
Very nice work
Good shot. Sky is the limit.
This is top-notch. More grace Tobi.
Wow this is interesting.. and very true.. because at each stages in life your personality changes…I love this piece cus it realistic…
I lack words to say…
I LOVE YOUUUUUU! 👌
Very well written, I must emphasize; I enjoyed reading this. You have an excellent gift of carving and weaving emotions into your narration.
Well done, my friend, well done.
This writing is as perfect as the writer himself. More ink to your pen so don’t stop half way. You’re an amazing writer.
It’s good and motivational
Master writer. Excellent piece Sir.
This is definitely an interesting read.
Taking note of the last sentence, I say you did the unthinkable, brilliant.
I find it a real challenge to stick to just one thing educationally. I’m usually tempted to do everything, you know, touch everything. Sometimes I feel like I’m just greedy, but today, I feel like I’m just doing the not-optional thing (changing constantly). Thank you so much.
…and yes, you see that thing you did with the title and how you tied it to the whole work, it’s the most brilliant thing I’ve seen done in any article here.
This is wonderful.there are lots to think about before answering the question “who are you”. I never thought about this. You are a genius!
Beautiful! Got me till the very end ❤️
Yes, me too.
Good one. I wasn’t expecting less.
Quite a captivating piece. Kudos.
An amazing piece and also thought provoking. For a moment, I couldn’t take my eyes of it. I so much love it
Quite an enlightening read, well penned down.
It’s only natural to evolve, so does who we are……“the main interest… is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”
A clearly expressed piece. It gives cause for (re)definition of self.
Amazing piece. Wish you the best
Great piece, Tobi. It exemplifies a very needful feature of the human nature: change. It means, at one point in our lives, it is required that we concede to needful and useful change.
Perhaps I’ve been asking myself this very question, “Are you who you at?”, since I was a kid and till now I’d be lying point blank if I said I’ve been relieved of the burdens to answering the question.
Well, all that doesn’t matter now. If I can try to be the best I can be, I will keep being the best version of myself.
Brilliant and quite enlightening!
Tobi truly knows how to capture his reader, this is yet another of his artistic performances.
I am all for creativity and this is one creative work.
Beautiful and captivating too!
Well done Tobi 🤗
Best piece I’ve read in a while
Wow…’am I really who I am?’
Nice write up here.
This work is timely. I love the fact that it shed light on why I keep changing my mind about what I intend to study in school. I feel bad sometimes.
Now I know what has been happening.
Nice loved this in particular “The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”
“who do people say I am?” he asked. My lecturer once asked a question “Who are you?”. It was difficult to answer. I think you’ve given me a clip. Thank you so much.
I felt this
It’s so awesome
Are you who you are? is a scarier question than, who are you?
I think I didn’t really answer it throughout the time I read this. Wow. This is really beautiful.
this is lovely and great work
oyaaaaaaaaa thumbs up for the writer of the year
Great piece, I really must say.
I totally agree with this logical presentation, its shows brilliancy
We’re sealed canons with cryptic codes
Our lives are spent unlocking these codes…
Hmmmm, logical masterpiece 🙌🙌
This is very thoughtful. Reminds me of A Ritual To Read To Each Other by William E. Stafford.
Now, you see why I call him exceptional though he often objects.
Anyways, you did drive home your point.
Growth and subsequent development of an individual leads him to changes.
Learning to critically analyse these changes and make valuable conclusion is expedient.
Keep writing, bro.
You’re always unique bro!
“Indeed no matter what we do, we can never always be as same and unchanged as the title above even when it is read from right to left”.
I have learnt..thanks.
I will always salute this man’s inspiration. This is educative and entertaining. I doff my hat!
Awwn so lovely…This is perfect I must say.
This is educative and interesting at the same time. You just touched a path where people hardly travel on. I have really learnt something new, and I’m left with the thought of who I really am. Thank you Tobi Salami. Keep writing.
Wow this is interesting and beautiful
We’ll written and well delivered …keep it up good job
This is absolutely brilliant.. captivating beginning and then the kinda story for a single idea, its first class.
This is mind blowing!
You have a fascinating way with words and I got the point being that we have to allow room for change especially when we cannot easily fathom who we think we are.
Congratulations on compiling a fabulous, insightful and an enriching article that had me glued from start to finish and heartiest wishes on being voted as the winner. May you continue to go from strength to strength and maximize your writing abilities to the fullest in a future abundant with enormous success. Take care and god bless you and your loved ones.