by Ebehi O.
These days, it seems like more and more people are expecting you to know yourself and your identity at a young age. I’m not too much older than you, but I don’t remember being expected to know for certain whom I was, or my identity, AS much as girls are expected to now. That said, there were pressures to be a certain way, but that only created a “temporary identity”.
There are many different factors that make up a person’s identity. Yes, it is partially your background, where you were born, the colour of your skin, but that’s a general identity… that’s not who you are as a person. Those characteristics don’t define your true identity – unless you allow them to or want them to be.
Webster’s Dictionary simply defines identity as “who someone is” and “the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a person or group different from others”. Everyone has a unique identity because no person is the same as another – not even twins. Sometimes one of the easiest, and sometimes hardest, ways to create your identity or start to come into your own is through your passion.
Your passion can be ANYTHING you want it to be. For some, it’s through sports, work, or volunteering, but for others, it may be through music, theatre, art, or literature. You can find your passion through your interests, however few or many you might have.
For example, I found my identity through music at a very young age. I was involved in as many musical things I could: choirs, bands, showcases, competitions, free pick-up guitar lessons at the local Boys and Girls Club (which I didn’t like too much), and then private vocal lessons. It was clear that music was my passion, and thus helped me figure out who I was.
Music taught me self-control, to never give up, creativity, expression, how to work with others, appreciation, carefulness, dedication, drive and much more. As a result of my passion, I was able to use these qualities throughout other aspects of my life – school, work, relationships, etc. Music helped shape my identity because it gave me the ability to look at life through different lenses; it gave me different perspectives.
That is just one passion of mine, but like you I have many others; however, when you have that one core passion, you become confident in yourself in that aspect, which builds your confidence and your personality outside of that passion.
I believe that’s how you create an identity in your passion – you feel so strongly and are so committed to your interest that it not only becomes a part of you, but also trickles into other aspects of your life and allows you to grow – develop your true identity.
Allow yourself to experiment with different interests and take a journey to discover what your passion is. It won’t happen right away, but as people say “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and “when you know, you know”. And hey, once you know, explore that passion, give yourself permission to apply that passion to other parts of your life! Don’t be afraid to take the time to learn about yourself.
It’s your identity; you are unique. You are you. Own it!