“I” seemed to be the most banned pronoun in the English language when I went to school. We were never allowed to insert ourselves into our essays or papers—but we were always supposed to show original thought. So many times I was stymied at how to show original thought in a way that did not use “I”.
Except for that first day back at school assignment I received from grade two to grade eight: “Write about what you did on your summer vacation”—we were not given much opportunity to express ourselves using the word “I”. No wonder we had self-esteem issues, though when I was in school self-esteem was not a subject of concern. And today it seems to be a catch-all that is used for a myriad of problems that probably have nothing to do with self-esteem at all.
I think one of the reasons I enjoy writing a weekly newspaper column is that I get to use “I” whenever the heck I want to. In fact, I have noticed that it is the more personal columns and posts on this blog that I write that get the most comments. I like to read about other people and their experiences and how they handled something—and like everyone else, I like to relate to the writer.
Here are a few famous “I”s:
“I see myself as an intelligent, sensitive human, with the soul of a clown which forces me to blow it at the most important moments.”
“I have feelings too. I am still human. All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent.”
“I trust no one, not even myself.”
“I’m OK with myself, with history, my work, who I am and who I was.”
“Without ‘I’, we would neither know ourselves or others.” ~ Me