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I haven't been myself lately

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Robert Sapolsky, a Neuroscience Professor at Stanford University, relates how porous the boundary can be between two distinct selves, and how maybe this is a perfectly healthy phenomenon.

Read more:

Robert Sapolsky's The Trouble with Testosterone: And Other Essays On The Biology Of The Human Predicament


Dr. Robert Sapolsky

Comments [4]

(continued from previous post)

It does beg the question, how "me" is "me". How much of you is you, and how much is destined to be nothing more than a redux of your genes in a different setting and different set of circumstances.

I do miss my father. And the irony is, I am starting to realize that I am my father. Just a different version. 2.0 I suppose. Or maybe 15748309278.0? Who knows.

Mar. 18 2012 12:05 AM

This makes me think a little of a few other Radiolab episodes that explore how the body, physical feelings and emotions have a large impact on our behavior and who we are.

I am now at an age where I am starting to look like my father. In spite of the fact that he was a completely different build in his late 20's, I always get comments about how much I look like him.

I like to think of myself as very different from him, and if you look at skills, professions, lifestyle etc. it seems to be so. I am white collar, my father was blue. I am a law abiding citizen to a "T", my father was sometimes at odds with the law. I enjoy wine and steak, my father preferred bear and hotdogs. Yet, the essence of what is me is still very much in his image.

My wife told me when we were dating that I was a snob, and a bit arrogant. After we got married, she revised her opinion. "You can talk to anyone, and no matter who they are you just walk up and treat them exactly the same way," She noted. This, I think I got from my Dad. I do treat everyone the same, and I love to walk up to a complete stranger and start a conversation. This is often how I meet people that become a part of my life, and that I got from him.

At one point in my life I moved passed really being concerned about what others thought of me. People would point out that in the setting, or for the area of interest or activity, what I was doing or how I was doing it wasn't exactly the way everyone else did. When I was younger I used to make excuses for why I was doing it wrong, and slowly adopt my own version of the right way. At a certain point, I just started doing it my way unabashedly, and even after learning the way others did it still continued to do it my own way.

In cooking, for instance, I always pronounced star anise "Star A-knee-se" and was once told the proper way was "Star An-iss" (iss as is kiss). without thinking I responded, "I like it better my way. I think I'll start a trend." The person in question, it turns out, was a prominent local baker, and after a while I started hearing people in and about his bakery pronouncing it my way. So, that became my moniker. Anytime I would get corrected, and find the proper way less than interesting, I would say "I like it better my way, I think I'll start a trend." A year or so after I started doing this, my mom caught wind and brought it up to me. She mentioned once in passing, "You know, you got that from your father. He always used to say that."

I was blown away, I never remembered him saying anything of the sort. By the time my memory started, he had probably moved past the need to state that. Nonetheless, I was blown away. Here was something that I had grown, or evolved, into doing (or so I thought), that was actually something from my father.

So, the important parts about me, the most "meness" of what is me, ended up playing out very similar to what made my father him, and gave him a sense of "me".

Mar. 18 2012 12:05 AM
Joel Metzger from Doylestown, PA

The story of the mother "whose head exploded" is very similar to my experience. I was in a car accident and had a severe head trauma 27 years ago. I am 59 years old now. This was a long time ago, but since that day I have been a different person -- which means I am 32 years old. I live with different priorities, a different personality, new skills. - Joel

Oct. 05 2010 01:42 PM
ZENTASHA from pakistan

it was realy v much informative, but still a question arises in my mind that who am i? how to know that what we era and what we can do, wat are our skills

Jul. 06 2010 04:10 PM

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