Identity to me is a figment of my imagination and yet also the very core of who I am. Ambiguous is one way to put it. I struggled a lot going up with ideals of my own personal identity and also how to absorb the assumed identities of those around me meaning how they identified themselves versus how I identified them. Which led me to question how others identify me versus how I identify myself and exactly which parts of it truly even matter. This lead me to a journey of self-discovery where I landed in a place of contentedness.
As a child, I struggled to fit into different social groups and went through various phases of identification. My parents bought a ranch and we lived out there for a time with farm animals and four-wheelers. I took to identifying with camp jackets, cowboy boots, and country music. I grew out of this phase mostly by my late teen to early 20s years, but it will always be a part of me. Into my early 20's I fell into the hippie raver scene which lasted up until I began my studies at USF, but again, it will always be a large part of me. Now I again am having an identity crisis wondering who I am and I believe that the turret of the matter is that as we grow and develop, so does our identity. This means that we are allowed to change and assume a new identity at any point.
In late 2020, I went through a major identity crisis. I was sick of being Amanda the yoga instructor or Amanda the construction manager or Amanda with the curly hair. I wanted to be seen and feel a way that was unknown. I decided to shave my hair bald and tattoo my skull. What a life-changing experience that was. I wrote an entire blog post about it on my entertainer website.
Many people are stuck in their ways conforming to the idea that they are not allowed to change or behave differently and instead that it is more important to always be right even when we are wrong. This is highly inaccurate and stems from the need to always be right. This is a very strong, mostly psychological human emotion. It is not uncommon for people to feel the need to identify with being right.
I fully respect and appreciate the modern ideals of societal norms, or lack thereof. According to the Bible, this is a wonderland of sinners alike that was predicted leading up to the end of humanity as we know it. Is our creator saddened for we know who not we are? Or is he rejoiced that we get the opportunity to self-discover? Who knows. the Bible is ages old and written in various translations. We the people do not know the real and/or full story and so we adjust accordingly and live by what we know. I cannot imagine that such a loving God would hate me for finding myself.
I believe that self-discovery is a positive thing. I have learned my likes and dislikes, created routines for myself, and set boundaries that I did not have before. Self-discovery is like magic. The growth that comes along with it is very rewarding. I cannot imagine that a God who put us here to enjoy life would want us to restrain from such a thing. That notion does not seem to make sense. That seems like something someone who wanted to control me would say.
One of the most important aspects of self-discovery is owning it and not caring what anyone else thinks of you. Caring for what others think only allows them to shape you. We were all born and raised with very different ideals on how life should be and it is best that we learn from one another. Yet, it is still important to listen to others not to respond but to actually listen even if we do not always agree with them.
Reflecting is a very beneficial way to self-discovery. In reflecting we allow our emotions to flow and can more easily make sense of them. It is then possible to build new ideas off of ideas generated when reflecting. Reflecting is a very valuable self-discovery tool. My music production sensei instructed me to do at least one page a day of long handwriting self-reflection in order to remain in motion and remain creative. When I do this, I normally just jot off the top of my head whatever it is that I am thinking. As I get older I find myself becoming more routine and more bored and so I think that it would be fun to do writing prompt tasks once I find myself in a place mentally stable enough to not just express my hot mess of emotions in writing.
An ideal within identity crisis I have lately found to be interesting is when stars begin to become famous and allow the fame to go to their head. This type of identity crisis can be the tipping point for many up-and-coming artists that either makes or breaks them. It can be difficult to find a place between humble and confident at times, but it can be done.
I have experienced a wave of identity crises throughout my career as an entertainer concerning the type of art that I would like to create and the way that I portray myself. Then the identity crisis of what it actually means to even be an artist. I was not raised in a way that was overly supportive of my goals as a musician and as an artist. I was told that my dress to be a professional entertainer was a pipe dream and that it would never happen. To be more realistic. Well, look at me now.
I create many forms of art and so there are many ways in which I identify as an artist. It is a huge part of me and who I am and also how I live my life. Living this way was a choice in that there is no way by God for it to be handed to me. It must be sought after and worked hard for. Then one must feel that it is deserved and own it.
Had I never chased my dreams of being an artist, I would always feel like a part of me was missing. I would always feel like there was more to discover and so in turn I would feel incomplete.
When I was younger, all I cared about was creating a lifestyle that allowed me to produce art for a living. That was all that mattered. There was no plan B.
In this way, I believe that it is beneficial for the human race to evolve to a place where we are no longer repressing our truest selves. The evolution of the identity of the human race is beautiful and unique, like a snowflake.