Hiding Behind Our Masks of Identity
When you think of the word identity, it comes off as a word that carries weight, a word that is a culmination of who we are as a person. Identity is an important part of who we are, but what if our identity is something that also can be an obstacle in front of us, what if this identity that we created for ourselves, is just that, a fabrication and not our real self?
In the past few years I have been hearing conversations around identity and labels a lot more, especially when it comes to describing ourselves, we always have a label ready for ourselves and while I feel that is empowering in its own right, I also feel that we oftentimes let these labels have more power over us than we should allow them.
If I'm completely honest, I feel like labels should just be temporary and maybe form a small part of who we are, because, at the end of the day, we are very complex beings with likes and dislikes of our own. The other reason why I say labels should be temporary is that we all are liable to change, in one way or the other.
As we grow up, we experience new things, we meet new people, we discover new passions and through the culmination of all of this, we grow and change.
So why restrict yourself by sticking inside a bubble when there is such a vast horizon right in front of us, ready to be explored!
Labels though are just a part of the mask we call our identity. Have you ever had this happen to you where your personality and thoughts at times are in conflict with one another?
It's weird, isn't it?
If I were to give you a tame example, let us take music into consideration. We all have our favorite bands, songs, and albums that we have been listening to and would always fall back on unless introduced to new music through our friends or by seeing what's on the trending page. But have you ever discovered a song or an artist that just randomly popped up on your feed, or you discovered it on the radio, or just randomly came upon it when searching for something else, and all of a sudden, your perspective changes... You wonder where this song had been all your life and why didn't you find it before even though it is completely in a different genre to what you usually listen to?
In that case, we never thought of the idea of exploring. We were content with where we were but then why did finding this new song affect us so much? I think identity can work in similar ways, we won't know everything about ourselves if we don't let ourselves explore.
If I were to give you an example, I would say that I have always been trying to create this persona of myself and this identity of myself that seemed happy with everything that was happening even though I wasn't in the best of places. Three years ago when I did not have a direction for myself, I was lost but outside to everyone, I seemed happy and carefree, a lie I told myself too which ended up becoming a mask I wore.
It took me time to truly find myself, but the funny thing was, I was so stuck in my own fake persona that I never thought to look anywhere else let alone look at myself! But in the past three years, things changed, I grew and was able to get some kind of answer, though now I know to never stop! There is always something out there to discover and I can't wait to explore!
Now, I'm not saying everyone wears this mask, but what I do want to point out is that it is important to not let the persona become a mask, a shell that covers you.
Finally, to end this article I would like to mention something Zee spoke about in the latest episode of our podcast. He said that we should give ourselves 10 mins in a week, where we make an effort to take off our identity like we take off our clothes. Give yourself a chance to explore, you never know, your inner Indiana Jones might just stumble upon a lost treasure.
If you want to hear more about Identities, labels, and mental health, then join us on the latest episode of our podcast where Zee and I just sit down to have a chat about all this and more!
You can listen to the episode here: https://bit.ly/identities-personas
This is 1000Minus7 signing out! Until next time!