i tried to come up with some particular theme for a post today, but after my two hour walk i still couldn’t think of something that i thought needed said. so instead, today’s post is just going to be a general mess of things going through my head.
first and foremost i have had the word “identity” coming to the forefront of my mind an awful lot lately. what makes up a person and what effects who we become is such a complex thought that i have gotten lost more times than i would normally like to admit while thinking down the rabbit hole of personal identity in the twenty-first century.
the oxford english dictionary gave me this definition:
personal identity n. (a) Philos. the condition or fact of being one person, or remaining the same person throughout the various phases of existence; continuity of the personality; (b) gen. the essential or intrinsic character of an individual.
what caught me about this definition was part “b” when it says the essential character of an individual. i’m in a class right now that is focusing on this concept of identity and we were just speaking about whether or not we as humans have a core self or whether we are just a constantly flowing body of decisions that doesn’t have any real solid place that the other changes within us happen from.
i happen to be from the school of thought that we do, in fact, have a core set of ideas or beliefs or what ever that make up who we are. but i also believe that we are meant to change. i think we adapt and grow and change our ideas of the world around us while our innermost stays basically the same. that’s not to say that we can just never have our worlds shaken to the point that it cracks away at those core values and core identity, but i don’t think those things change at the drop of a hat.
but back to the essential part of things. i think i like this definition because it coincides with my thoughts on how we all have these parts of how we identify that kind of serve as a ground point for when we get lost. i have spent my fair share of time feeling like i would rather hit rock bottom than stay where i was at and it is normally when things get that way that i take notice of the way that who i am is not dependent upon how others perceive me. does the opinion of others have some sort of weight sometimes? of course. especially when they are focusing mainly on negative things. that being said, the essential part of who i am is what i continuously look to when i am feeling completely lost. everyone talks about how your twenties are the time to find who you really are and i think that is where i am stuck right now. constantly looking back to see if things could have gone a different way and then looking forward to figure out where i want to stand.
college has a lot to do with who we identify as. not only in coursing that are aimed to pointy out identity in small and large scales (like in certain time periods in literature and in different groups of people) but also in how we start to build our lives and what direction we decide to take.
identities are messy and complex and it has a whole lot more defining it than just what books we read and what kind of shirt we put on in the morning. i think that’s why i enjoy this whole writing thing so much; it gives me a chance to find my own identity through the use of twenty-six characters on a white blank page (or in this case, screen).
here’s not not panicking when lines get blurred. here’s to knowing where we stand.