As an individual discovering her identity, I believe I have seen the multi-layers associated with finding one’s self. I believe that our identities are forever evolving and changing as we interact with people, experiences, knowledge and media. It almost seems impossible to not see how we are not static people, but we are dynamic. We are forever changing. It’s true that we may ignore the world around us and not seek out various perspectives for personal-growth, but if we keep ourselves isolated from various perspectives we will never grow.
In taking my current philosophy class I had stumbled upon a quote by poet and writer, Audre Lorde, in her essay on Race, Sex, and Gender:
“Change means growth, and growth can be painful. But we sharpen self-definition by exposing the self in work and struggle together with those whom we define as different from ourselves, although sharing the same goals”
In defining our identities or trying to come to terms with our identity, it may be a painful experience. It may take tears and sweat when we begin our personal examination. When we go through this exciting, scary, anxious and painful journey it takes us to be real. We have to take everything deep within us to be truthful with who we are. It means putting aside our ego and looking at ourselves in the mirror. We have to look at it in a way that isn’t distorted. We can’t try to look at it in a way that is anything but true.
“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”
― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
When we begin this exploration in finding ourselves or discovering our identities we have to let everything go and just explore.