These four numbers signify someone, represent a key into the inner workings of her life, her values, her longings and hunger, her indulgences. Maybe it’s a pin number, or a password at work, the last four of an SSN, or a phone number, maybe it’s an address. Maybe it’s miles run over a year, or how many times she’s berated herself in front of a mirror. Perhaps it’s the number of times listened to the Macarena, or Kraft Mac N Cheese Meals.
What does it mean to be you? I was thinking of how we’ve learned to use numbers as a way to identify ourselves: our sizes, our salaries, how many hours worked or protein grams consumed. But in doing all this calculations and measurements, we’ve lost a sense of fullness and authenticity. The reductions are…well, reducing.
The notion of identity exploded through the exhibit at The Wellcome Trust, just another example of a stellar museum I’ve visited since moving to Europe FOUR months ago.
The Wellcome Trust is free. It is meant to inspire a love of the natural scientist in all of us. When I ran there after my day of training, people plumped on tables in the upstairs exhibition but not sardine like. Of course, I labored with uncharacteristic attention to detail…a few favorite displays included a fun display of vitamins or non-prescription pills shaped into the body part they are supposed to address (imagine tiny little colons, stomachs, pee-pees) and another video display called Eat 22, where this girl took pictures of everything she put into her mouth for a year. And then, the display about identity simply riveted my brain. The display read
And how people perceive you is not the you that you are.
One displayed a famous British actress and talked about how we are both infatuated and jealous of actors whose identities twist with gossamer insecurity. Immediately known and unknown at the same time. Another displayed information about Galton (Darwin’s cousin and the first dude to look at fingerprints) which rocked because of my psychology roots! And another one about identical twins, raised three years apart due to In Vitro. So intriguing!
Okay! I know…you may not be interested. But I LOVED this museum. I loved being able to walk around on my own and imbibe the displays without thought that I was holding a friend back or lingering too long, or missing an important display. I felt so IN my own skin, and loving my mind and brain and passions and weaknesses.
Just what I needed…I polished the evening off with a half bottle of Bulgarian wine, smoked mackerel and bread, and spicy lentil tomato soup. And Cadbury Hot Cocoa for dessert….
Mind, Body and Spirit very full….
I challenge you to visit a museum within an hour’s drive of you. Perhaps it will be a quirky one, or one well resourced with private sponsors. But there’s something about museum-ing that can fuel you. Too often, we miss these opportunities in our daily lives.
You’ll receive a warm welcome, I promise.