Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We are what We are

Sitting beneath a tree,
back propped up against the trunk,
notebook in hand,
my thoughts race.
My hand darts around the page,
doodling, sketching, spewing
verse after unconnected verse.
My eyes survey the still water,
longing for answers and inspiration.
I grow fixated on the willow tree before me,
it's reflection glitters and sways.

Staring down at a name,
dates etched into stone.
Examining the dash,
questioning the reasons,
frantically searching for answers.
I am enveloped by uncertainty,
suffocated by longing,
drowning in the need to understand.

writing a blog,
wondering aloud,
why? who? how?
the search now public,
waiting to be shared.
Exploration of the human need,
the everlasting desire,
to know one's self.

The unquenchable desire for understanding of the self overcomes the countless differences so alive in the world today. People live by different philosophies, different morals, different faiths, different customs, different motivations, different languages, and countless other differences. But, what trumps those differences is the universal longing to uncover one's identity. The search for identity is a life-long undertaking that shapes how we perceive ourselves and interact with those around us.
Before things kick into high gear, you should know why my blog is called All we are, We are. First of all, the song is just a pleasant listen. This is the type of stuff I'll be listening to when I write my blog, so feel free to do the same. Next, the philosophy behind my blog title is this: despite all the differences we have, we are ultimately a "we". When it comes to the most important concepts, ideas, and longings in life, we don't differ much at all. And, when it comes to the search for truth and identity, we are what we are. Our identity, our true selves, are there waiting to be shaped and discovered.
Most often, I will aim to highlight both the "we" and the "I". In this case, as a means of introduction, I feel it is necessary to shed some light on the "I".
I will work to navigate the complex world of self and identity as you jump on board with me. I am what I am -- I will reveal what I can about myself and my knowledge in order to reach insight into identity. I am unsure of exactly what is to come, but I guarantee it will be nothing short of an adventure. And I invite you to join me.
I, Jamie Tolmatsky, am taking a pledge to explore identity -- on its many levels, with its multiple nuances, in its various manifestations -- through the use of this blog. Supplemented by classroom work this blog will document my journey and exploration of identity.
You may be thinking to yourself, now how does a 17 year old girl's quest for understanding make any difference? I could list off a number of answers in effort to defend myself and rationalize your interest in my blog, however I think the best approach is to simply let you follow along and see for yourself.

An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.
James Baldwin


  1. This is a great post! I love the poem at the beginning. I think the topic of your blog will fit in very well with Academy-- it seems like we often talk about identity of ourselves and of different people and cultures. I look forward to reading what you have to say!!

  2. Great first post, Jamie! You have a good voice and I enjoy reading your writing. Also, Matt Nathanson is great, so good choice of post title! Our blogs are about similar topics so I look forward to reading your views on identity and comparing them to the ones I'm blogging about. I think we will learn a lot from each other!

  3. This is great! I love how you used the poem at the beginning-- so creative. And your idea to use music to express your ideas is a good one. I for sure am putting on Matt Nathanson after this. I can't wait to read all that you have to say about identity. --Kate H

  4. This is a great first entry! I truly enjoyed where you wrote that "we are all ultimately a 'we.'" In a world where people feel so lonely and are so easily pushed aside, it is refreshing to hear that someone does realize we have so much more in common than is different. We all want to be who we are meant to be, but somehow others ideas end up mattering more. You said it perfectly, "we are what we are." The sooner people come to realize that, and explore what they are meant to be doing, I truly believe that there will be much more happiness in the world.

  5. What a great first post! I really love your title and the idea of incorporating appropriate music for the reader to listen to while they read certain parts of your post. I can't wait to read more from you!
    -Anthony L

  6. Great First Post! I always like hearing what you have to say and I like your use of music that clearly has inspired your thoughts. Cant wait to hear more.


  7. Atta girl. What a way to start off your blog for your senior year! Very creative structure, as well as your use of links. You had a grabbing intro with the poem and a cute ending, one that makes me want to read your future posts. Overall it was a very interesting read and I can't wait to continue going on your journey with you. Love you sis