Letters to Stories: Inside “Destined Identity”

By Simon Heywood

Illustration of original character concept “The Time Dryad Sylvan” courtesy of Jasper Michael Austin (Twitter profile hyperlinked in name).

“Destined Identity” is a poem that plays quite literally off the whole “nature vs nature” debate. Are we more born than we are raised? Which plays a bigger role in determining who we are? I took that theme, and in classic “Simon” fashion let’s say, I personalized it.

This poem, like my Triggered poem, takes another look at my childhood and life story so far. The entire poem reflects my life from the time I discovered how truly different I am from the rest of my family. From that point, little me looks back and sees from then how he was raised, and me now looks back on that and sees how I’ve been raised up to the present moment.

As the poem goes further, it tackles the idea (and fact) that people are born different. Everyone is born to be different, but often times being a black sheep isn’t embraced in society, much less in the house that’s supposed to be a home. In my house, my family were all different shades of blue, while I was the green in the house. They were all morning glories, while I was a weed. At least that’s how they raised me to see myself and the qualities that made me unique.

I thought I had to be blue too, and by believing in that at such a young age I quickly lost sight of what made me different. As I realized I didn’t want to be like my family, I started to see my identity again. Who I was before they raised and conditioned me. I was a seed, but I wasn’t destined to be their morning glory, and that’s okay.

This was another “spur of the moment” type of poem. I was actually wandering Boston and went into the Boston Public Library. I was just on the move then paused, found a seat, sat down, and turned on my phone. And thus, “Destined Identity” was born in “Evernote” on my phone. At first, the poem was just going to be called “Nature vs. Nurture,” but I found that a bit too boring. It took me a moment to find the title, and all I had to do was play with the whole “nature vs nurture” debate and the word “nature.” The “nature” side of the debate is the scientific/simplified term for its more spiritual synonym “destiny.” Are we only destined to do things? Is what we’re doing now already designed by “fate?” (Destined) and the the whole debate of “nature vs nurture” leads back to the most personal existential question of all time, “who am I?” (Identity).

Destined Identity is out now on Instagram.

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