Has anyone reading this post ever felt like they lost their identity? Like life veered them off-course and they are just now beginning to place the pieces back together? It could be in any form. I’m sure sexual abuse would cause that. Maybe even moving. Or having your parents divorce. All I know is one thing. That I lost my identity for awhile.
Let me explain.
I have always been a unique kid. Not trying to sound cocky, but it is the truth. Ever since I can remember I prided myself on being original. No lie, I died my hair blue in fourth grade. Then platinum blonde in fifth. I almost hit every color on the color wheel before tenth grade even started. I began to wear band t-shirts and bright colors in order to stand out from society. Because I didn’t want to be like society. I guess you could’ve called me scene. Or emo. Or fake. Labels are labels and I truly believe that I was just expressing myself.
Regardless, I was sent to a boarding school (by being deceived into believing I was going on vacation) for a whole year. That was my tenth grade. I truly believe that the experience changed not only my looks, but my personality. With that being said, the first thing I had to do was get my head shaved. Now I know that is a whatever to most people, but to me it felt as if a part of my personality was destroyed as my hair lied motionless on the floor. And over the year I began to be morphed back into the kid that society, and my parents, wished that I had always become. Normal.
(Sorry for writing so much about myself. I don’t mean to bore the shit out of you. Please share some personal anecdotes in the comments.)
Now fast forward a few years. I am a freshman in college. Natural hair for the past two years. Mainstreamed as anyone else. It’s even as if my personality is normal too. And on top of that I don’t feel satisfied with my life. Unhappy. Unamused. Disgusted.
Now here is where you guys come in. Can anyone relate? Maybe not in the same ways, but like they feel lost in life for whatever reason and are trying to get a grip. Like they are still trying to discover themselves? Since I personally don’t want to be normal anymore. I want to be my old self. I miss it. I was truly happy when I was. Girls would chase me and I never had to ask anyone out because I was different. People hated it at first, but they came around and began to appreciate that I was just being myself.
So give me some experiences of your own and/or how you dealt with it. Thanks!
“You have to do stuff that average people don’t understand because those are the only good things.” -Andy Warhol
@flyingg, I sort of feel the same way. Only with me, it’s more like, I’m still trying to figure out who my identity is, because when I was growing up, when I should have been living and having experiences and making an identity, I did not. I was really nondescript. I did the opposite of you….I wore the plainest clothes possible, I did not talk about my interests or talk much at all. I am actually quite outgoing when I want to be, but when I was growing up, I lived in a shell I made for myself out of fear for being mocked. I saw how nasty others could be and didn’t want to draw any heat on myself, which worked most of the time but not all the time. Of course, I was not big or strong or “macho” and not coordinated, so I wasn’t a sports guy. I also did not participate in being mean, it seemed wrong to me even though others did it all the time. I had the “wrong” interests – cartoons, reading, sci fi and fantasy, and just daydreaming and pretending. So I felt there weren’t a lot of people I could open up to, and I did not build much of an identity.
None of that matters anymore really, today I wear what interests I know of on my sleeve and I’m always seeking out new ones. But I still feel like all the years I spent in my shell have somehow caused me to be “behind”, in some way. I haven’t lost my identity, rather, I’ve been building one at snail’s pace. Others have already known who they were for years and have already started walking down a path, living a life. I’m still at square 1 because I still don’t really know who I am.
I can totally relate to this. And no, I didn’t dye my hair but what I meant was, I can connect with your issue of “losing identity” because I feel the same way too. I got into a relationship knowing it was not the right thing for me, and it ended up ruing my self worth. It (the breakup) changed me and made me a person I never wanted to become. But get this: it provided so much fodder for my poems. It became something I could look back and say, “I survived that! Why can’t I get through this?” There have been many such instances which made me question my identity but if they ever taught me anything, it was this: that I am a product of my circumstances. I thought I was a quiet, shy person – a label I attached to myself right from 5th grade. But now, I realise that I was only limiting myself to a particular tag. I think that is the same with you. You are unique just the way you are! You don’t have to dye your hair to prove that. You stopped dyeing your hair simply because you grew up! I really don’t know if I am making any sense here, but I thought I must help you out. If this helped you in even in the smallest of small way, I would be happy! Good Luck!
One zen story that answers your plight so well :)
“Tanzan and Ekido were once travelling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.
Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t do near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?” “