When you’ve had a habit for many years, it becomes part of your persona. Your image, totem, signature, symbol — however you like.
When folks see someone with your habit, they think of you.
When they’re looking for you, they look for your symbol.
It could be anything from a piece of clothing to the way you walk. There’s something you do that’s yours.
Someone once told me that my combat boots are my signature. I started wearing them in fourth grade to be practical. When my class shuffled through the hallways in two parallel lines, some dickhead always stepped on my sneaker and make my heel pop out. I hated it. Flat tire, we called it. It was probably accidental each time, but it still drove me nuts. I started wearing boots to address an immediate problem. They became familiar. Comfortable. Preferable.
Things are different now. I don’t walk in line with a bunch of other kids. The boots’ intended purpose is gone. It doesn’t rain enough, or get cold enough here to justify heavy boots; but I still wear them every day. As a little kid, I didn’t plan on incorporating a symbol; but now the boots are part of the image I project. I still wear them because they’re familiar. The tricky thing is, I couldn’t tell you if the familiar thing is the boots themselves, or that projected image.
When you see someone walking down the street in big black boots, what does it say about them? What does your perception say about you? These objects are telling in both directions.
What’s your signature? Your symbol? How do objects and affectations affect your story?
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” ― Oscar Wilde
“From one thing, know ten thousand things.” ― Miyamoto Musashi