You are clearly a self-reflective person – that’s one building block of your identity right there! I think your identity is something you find out gradually. I haven’t always consciously paid attention to discovering myself, but I realise I certainly know more about myself than I knew, say, ten years ago. I guess there are some things that have always been with me – even as a child, I had a strong sense of social justice and sense of humour about myself. It’s just that when I was very young, I didn’t realise that about myself.
For me, it works best to listen to that little voice inside my head. That voice knows me better than anyone and helps me feel secure in myself. If you can’t hear it yet, life experience will teach you about yourself. You’ll learn from the small crises of life. Problems with for example family or friends can bring out the best or the worst in you, so learning about yourself isn’t always pleasant. It can be quite terrifying, actually. It can also happen that you’ll struggle for a really long time with finding out some particular aspect about yourself. I still am not sure what I would like to do as a job, and I’m not sure I’ll ever find out what’s the thing I’m best at. There’s still plenty to discover, anyway.
I actually asked some of my twenty-something friends what they thought is the best way to discover your identity. A good piece of advice my friend Sara gave me is that you shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes. Just live your life and you’ll find out who you are. For me, time spent abroad has been especially interesting and has taught me a lot. When you continue your studies after high school, if you feel like it, you could spend some time studying abroad. Being away from home will, in my experience, teach you far more than staying home ever will.
That’s all the advice I can give you. I hope this helps a little. My inbox is always open for you or for anyone. I’m rooting for you!Saturday September 13th // Filed under: question, and a long-ass answer, identity,
Back home, the girls are not soft —
they pit peaches with their teeth,
drink sadness like they’re starving.
They always dance alone,
listen to songs with lyrics
about strawberry wine.
They blossom like beer bottles,
wear october on their shins,
split open, screaming —
a foreign rose
for a fight.