Identity. This single word which I would not have given a second’s thought to a few years ago now consumes my whole mind. I look for it in the music I listen to, the books I read, even in discussions with both friends and strangers.
During a discussion I had with a researcher last week, I was asked if this search would end. In that moment, I realised I had never even thought that far. I don’t know what the end-game is, and that is scary. When do you finally, truly know yourself? When do you become completely comfortable with who you are and your place in society? Does the search ever end? If it doesn’t, how does anyone ever deal with the uncertainty throughout their lives cos often times I just feel tired of it all.
Sometimes I yearn for a life of ignorance and normalcy. The normalcy of accepting society’s definition of you, of right, of wrong, of what is acceptable and what is not. Sometimes, I wish I never started on this journey because what started as a simple curious ride is now a blind stumble through the fabled evil forest. I have found that the search for an identity is multifaceted. It’s not just about nationality or ethnicity. It’s tentacles reach into fashion and grooming, beliefs and systems, career choices and personal potential, and even self-worth. It’s intellectual, religious, educational, even sexual, and it has forced me into questioning previously accepted truths, both about society and myself.
My single biggest fear is that I am unearthing a pandora’s box of previously unknown qualities whose perusal and pursuance will leave me with consequences I don’t think I may ever be able to fully face.
Perhaps though, the biggest problem is that there is no one to talk to, nowhere to turn, no manual to explain if I’m on the right track, if there even is one. The society I live in doesn’t yet want to talk about these things. Much like depression, the search for an identity is seen as a contrived “problem”, the creation of an aimless mind. It isn’t hard to see why this school of thought is so popular. Look around you and you’ll see people who are so comfortable in themselves, who are driven and certain and whose instagram pictures are the picture of perfection. Sometimes, I even wonder if I am not just simply crazy.
Pheew! Deep breadth. I don’t know what I want to achieve with this post. I don’t even know if it makes sense, which is really going to bum me out because I pride myself on my coherence, if nothing else. But I just think we need to talk about this. We need to have a discussion about everything that we don’t like to talk about. We need to realise that the world is not black or white or gray but a million shades of confusing and some of us are just plain dizzy trying to understand it.~ Senam
Featured image credit: QuoteGram