We spend our childhood and our teens forming our identity, and then one day in our twenties we wake up with the urge to find that identity that we weren’t aware we had lost. For me, this day has come, and I’m beginning to wonder just how far I’m going to have to look before I spot my true self standing on the horizon of my life.
The hardest part about finding your identity is not being entirely sure what you’re looking for. What determines an identity? Is it your job title; your friends; your values; your hopes and dreams; the way you view the world; the possessions you have; the possessions you want; the music you listen to; the clothes you wear; where you’ve been or where you’re going? Where does an identity stand on the line between deep and superficial? Is it something you can stumble across or something you have to earn?
My biggest worry concerning this initiation into adult life is that I may be searching forever. I do not want to be one of those women who become a mother before they finish finding out who they are and therefore can only seem to be able to develop a one-dimensional identity focused around being a mother. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan to fight this addition to my identity when the time comes, I just don’t want it to be all consuming, like what appears to have happened to those vacant women who can only talk about, and presumably only think about, motherhood; a mother who is obsessed with being a mother. Sure they have a small culture based on a handle full of daytime television shows and a few websites exploited for the advertising space, that I’m absolutely dying to get into by the by, but it looks so limited and deprived of all stimulation and satisfaction. The best mothers I know are the women who fully embrace motherhood while finding ways to maintain the hobbies, interests and passions they had developed as part of their identities before they had children.
I fear emerging on the other side of thirty as one of those people who never formed their own character and therefore have to absorb and assume those of the people around them. I know that life’s other priorities won’t wait forever; eventually they will go on, with or without the real me. I need to figure out who I am, before I become someone else.