I always think of myself as a personality magpie, hurrying away with bits and pieces gleaned from charismatic cultures and people, sifting through what feels true for me. I don't know if that's the typical way of carving out a personality, or if it's just that that's my personality, full stop. Follow the trail for too long, and the conversation gets a bit heady and needlessly meta.
Or maybe we magpies do it as survival instinct--the easiest path to fitting in or standing out, depending on one's leaning. Either way, and no matter who you are, for most of us, the true self is the one we meet when we're alone, and if she can keep you company, then I have a feeling we're doing something right.