Who am I ?
According to the philosopher Paul Ricoeur, we cannot know who we are through interpretation since we are always changing. It would be futile to try to fix it.
But beyond these constant and inevitable changes, one constant remains. A constant that remains true and unchanged throughout our life? A constant that mobilizes our energies and desires, forcing us to continue what we do, despite the obstacles and failures. It is worthwhile to consider what constitutes this constant since it weaves who we are.
This question is subdivided into two: Who? and What ?
Who and what are inseparable. They are the two essential components of who we are. To follow all the tracks throughout our life, the constant that engaged and pushed us forward is to use a tool such as an autobiography. Taken in this context, writing an autobiography is an exercise that must be constantly renewed. The exercise reveals that I am constantly evolving, and that life continues to change me. The telling effect can spare surprises. A good autobiography highlights the crucial moments of our lives during which we affirm by our actions, by the projects that we have made or wiped out.
The heart of who we are is in continual transformation and ready to continue the effort to accomplish our plans and achieve our desires. The story itself, through an interpretative but frank narrative is an essential exercise to understand better. The autobiography can be surprising. The past can then seem unpredictable, and the future more desirable and attractive than we thought.
Grondin, Jean. Paul Ricoeur. Presses Universitaires Françaises, collection Que-Sais-Je, January 2013.