Oscar Wilde said that if you know what you want to be, then you inevitably become it. That is your punishment. But if you never know, then you can be anything. There is a truth to that. We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing: an actor, a writer. I am a person who does things: I write, I act — and I never know what I am going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.
We’re more the sum of what we do than the thing we may identify ourselves as. I may say designer, but it’s much more than that. I seem to be a verb1.
- See also the little-remembers but brilliant I Seem to be a Verb by Buckminster Fuller (1970, Bantam Books) ↩