Our identity is constantly changing; we never truly know who we are. In many movies and books we often see the line “I need to go and find who I really am.” In our society, we understand and relate to the ambition of finding oneself. We also recognize that it is not suggesting that we have misplaced our body or left it behind but that we need to realize our true identity and learn who we are. Identity is defined as the combination of personal, social and cultural experiences that combine to form an individual’s identity. Our identity is determined by what others think of us and the qualities we have. As we grow older we discover new things and how we identify ourselves. Everyone wears a mask of what they think society wants them to be and we need to be able to rip that façade off and show the world of our true identities. Our identity is never still and it never will be, even after we pass away. It is the result of continuous interaction with our surroundings. People in our lives such as friends, family, teachers, idols and classmates affect the way we identify ourselves. They are a big factor in building up our identity. In many cases, some people’s identity has been shaken due to poor body image and physical appearance and this has contributed significantly to one’s identity.
Events in the past that we have gone through can also have an impact on our identity and how we view it. Death is witnessed all around the world every day. People die due to sickness, war, old age, suicide, fights gone wrong, accidents, and many more ways. If someone close to a person died, it may change the person’s personality and identity entirely. When we learn and understand about our background history and culture. This can sometimes be the wakeup call for people who are lost and are finding out who they truly are. For example; you find out that your grandparent fought in a war to protect his/her country. You feel a sense of pride and are obliged to help your country by joining the navy or army. All individuals make the development from child to teenager to adult. During this growth, our identity is always in movement as we attempt to discover ourselves. As a child, we are moulded by our parent’s beliefs and values. The way we are brought up is crucial to identity development at a young age as we are very strongly influenced by the personalities of those around us. We are encouraged to be like what our parents are like. We aspire to be like them in every way possible. At a young age, toddlers often copy their parents and follow their actions. Whether it is actions, words or even music, we always copy them and aspire to be like adults around us as we grow up.
However, once people reach their teenage years, many people forge their own identity and clash with their parent’s teachings and rebel against them. This is when many teenagers realise that they don’t want to do what their parents want them to do. Usually this is caused by developing any relationship with someone and they change a person’s belief and thoughts introducing them to a new perspective of things. “True identity is something people must create for themselves by making choices that are significant and that require a courageous commitment in the face of challenges.”- Thomas Merton. This quote shows us that our identity is not something that we are born with and that it can’t change at all, but in fact, our identity is something that changes every minute, after every decision and after every idea we have. In a book called “Halo” by Zizou Corder, the main character goes on a journey to find herself and throughout the novel; we see her changing into a young woman instead of this child who is innocent and sheltered from evil.
We also see that her identity changes as she sees life in a different perspective when she is taken from her family three times, we see her grow into a doctor and find love. She says the line “until you know who you are, you’re no one” this line shows us that we need to find out who we are. We can go on a long journey and we will still come back home. We never stop moving and always are changing our identity. Our identity is always and constantly changing due to the fact that we never stop learning new things, meeting new people and are always moving. Although many people get confused with the pathway of their identity, they usually find the right way and keep moving forward. People always find who they are and wake up from their rebellious years and find the right path for their future. Our identity always changes in response to life experiences. Everyone wears a mask of what they think society wants them to be and we need to be able to rip that façade off and show the world who we truly are.