17 May Defining IdentityReading Time: 4 minutes
Our personalities are shaped by the things we choose to identify with, and this process is uniquely individual. The interesting part is that it often happens subconsciously as our identities are influenced by everything around us. This is an exercise in laying it out and peeling back the layers. It is to understand that you have the freedom to choose your personal identity and to accept that it is shifting all the time.
Being Aware of Yourself
Identity is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as ‘the distinguishing character or personality of an individual’ it is also defined as ‘the fact of being who or what a person or thing is’. Self awareness begins when you start to question your identity, and once you start you never really stop.
This is an exercise in identity. What do you associate with you and more importantly why. What experiences have influenced your identity develop.
Who are you when know one else is around?
What does your attention catch on? The space between things, the sound of the quiet the quality of light.
What can I say about identity.
It’s all about living without necessity.
I think I first began developing my identity at seventeen. Maybe it was because I started keeping journals or maybe it was because I started listening to Alan Watts lectures. Maybe I was an exceptionally existential seventeen year old or maybe this is something that everyone goes through. But from that point on my identity was no longer defined by cultural context, it was something I was choosing with a personal conscience.
Identity is in a sense a reflection. It’s you looking right back at yourself and there’s a lot of different angles. I’m a model, I got to know my angles, and I realized it wasn’t about that. That the best photos come about when you aren’t trying. When the light was right, when the camera catches you off guard. It’s about letting your guard down. Peeling back the layers. Accepting the dimensionality of your identity.
Self Awareness Exercise
This is an exercise in self awareness. It’s a contemplation of what it means to be you. At least in our visually oversaturated society maybe we’ll find a grain of truth. Start with what you love, es sensillo en esta manera. Take everything that makes you feel something and lay it out with open hands. Now try putting it together, all be it digitally, if you lack the glue or perseverance for a real collage.
This is about identifying your identity. What makes you feel most yourself when no one else is around.
So take the ideas from your mind, now connect them to your body. Maybe identity is the bridge between mind and body. It’s the gap that we fill with everything that anchors us to our personal existence.
Detaching from your identity leaves space for a conscious mind. This is not to say that you aren’t you it’s just that you don’t have to take you so seriously. That you is changing all the time.
I feel more myself in Barcelona but that’s not to say I wasn’t me anywhere else.
I have spent so long surrounding myself with the things I love and I am starting see see that they aren’t me. This isn’t to say that I am anything less for it. Sunsets are still sunsets and flowers are still flowers and I’m still me, only right now me is almost twenty and looking for identity in everything around me. But what I am finding is that my identity does not need validation. When you fall in love you do not need to shout it from the rooftops, which is to say you cannot loose something you already have. Now I feel more as though I’m watching my identity come together like the pull of gravity on everything. Like collecting treasures and taking them with me until they no longer feel right at which point I am learning to shrug them off and let them go. Identifying and disidentifying as I go. Coming back to where we started. And if we are to identify as anything should we not identify as what we love?
If anything I hope this exercise helps you bring mindfulness to your identity. To understand that you are not bound by any social, mental or imaginary structures and that identity is free to fluctuate with the passage of time.