Who am I?

a picture of me

I’m Sam.

Ok, that was easy. Doesn’t make for much of an ‘About Me’ page though. Plus ‘Sam’ is just a collection of letters from the alphabet. What relevance is that to who I am? Not much.

I was born on 9th December 1988 in Isleworth, West London. I grew up in a terraced house with my Mum, Sister and Nephew. I raced go karts for a few years and dreamt of being an F1 driver. I later got into skateboarding got pretty good at that too. After I left school I worked in IT and customer services for a few years before getting into DJing and event promotion. I did that for a while before going back to an office job in IT. Fast forward a few years and I managed to land a job as a professional UX Designer which is what I work as today. Yes, that’s who I am.

Is it though? It’s a cool story about some things that have happened in my life. But who exactly experienced these things? Wouldn’t I still be the same person, even if I never owned a skateboard or worked in IT? Yes I would.

Ok, let’s try this.

I’m an amateur bike racer and a vegan. I train 10 hours a week and race whenever I can at the weekends. I adopted a plant based diet in early 2017 after being turned onto the health benefits by my girlfriend. I’m very conscious about what I eat and would hope to see an end to animal suffering within my lifetime.

But does riding bikes and eating plants define who I am? What if I couldn’t ride a bike anymore? What if I had to eat animals to survive? Would I be a different person now? Of course not.

What about this one?

I am the body that is occupying this space. I’m 5 foot 7 and 65kg. This is me.

Well I wasn’t always this size. As an 8 year old looking in the mirror, the physical presence looking back at me looked a lot different to the face looking back at me now. But I am still the same person that experienced being 8 years old. So that doesn’t work either.

I’ll tell you what I believe. Let’s start with what I am not.

I cannot define myself through stories about my past or my current hobbies. I am also not my job title. I am not not defined by the objects I own or experience in my everyday life. If everything around me disappeared, I would be still be me. Obviously I’d be scared shitless, but the important thing is that it would still be me experiencing that feeling.

I am also not my thoughts. By ‘thinking’ I am engaging my mind. I can be aware that I am ‘thinking’. I can also clear my mind of thoughts and still be ‘me’. There is something within that is aware of my thoughts, and therefore separate from them.

That is consciousness. And that is who I am.

I am the conscious presence inside my body. I look out from within and am aware of the events, thoughts and emotions that pass before me.

But if it’s easier, just call me Sam.

I’m always contactable via email – sam@samhodges.co

If you’d prefer, my Twitter is @smhdgs (but I might not always be online.)