Someone on Tumblr challenged me to provide a concise, usable definition of this “identity” term that I keep throwing around. Which is really a very reasonable sort of challenge.
Someone else pointed out that it might prove useful, later on, if my answer to that question were not buried in the trackless depths of Tumblr.
So. As best as I can define it, at the moment, identity is:
1. An abstracted mental image (or narrative) of the self, which is
2. Defined by a constellation of archetypical traits and tropes, and which
3. Allows its possessor to find both personal validation and aesthetic satisfaction in contemplating it, because
4. To some extent it simultaneously conforms to reality and to personal ideals.