Our “self” is being created on a subconscious level. Identity is a mixture of memories, experience, thoughts and characters of other people, who left their traits in our mind, influenced and fed it with ideas and feelings. “Me” is never singular; it’s a side effect of interaction, a wave function. To paraphrase Michail Bahtin: the main symbol of a modern man is “a grotesque mind”. Surrounded by others we grow with alien convictions and beliefs like a coral reef. We are always between ourselves and others, never establishing fully distinctive beings, like a kaleidoscope assembled from separate parts but pretending to be consolidated. Eventually we lose all references to the environment that composes our Identity. What remains is a personal simulacrum, an encrypted directory without a vantage point.
We also see ourselves in the mirror of our own imagination, more like a projection of who we would like to be, not who we are. Stuck in carefully carved shells to deceive the classifying eyes of the outside world, we create ourselves from the randomly collected debris of other lives. Consciousness is in the eye of beholder.