Glimpse Of The Past: Who Am I?

My personal identy crisis made me start this blog in March 2011. I remember having a discussion about how I didn’t feel like myself anymore earlier this year. I felt empty – as if I had given up what I used to be. I had moved to a different city and left old friends behind, had given up old hobbies, had ceased dressing the way I used to. Why? The answer is so simple it almost hurts: Because of my job.

The above photograph was taken in 2006. One year before I started to blend in. One year before I stopped wearing black. Misconception told me to “grow up”, to take life seriously, to do “my duty”. Why, I wonder, did that happen?

Don’t make the same mistake I did. You don’t have to blend in entirely, you don’t have to change your hobbies in order to have something ordinary to talk about with your co-workers. If there’s a dress code at your workplace – fine. Heed the dress code at work, wear what you like at home. Too tired to change from work-clothes to black? So be it. Your outfit doesn’t define who you are inside. It’s taken me a while to really understand this. I had thought blending in would be the right thing to do once I got a job and carried a certain responsibility. I was wrong.

Has something like this ever happened to you?

9 comments

  1. Wow, this post really brought back a lot of the struggles I’ve had in my own mind over the years. Even though I’m a “lifer” in the Goth scene, I have my phases where I question the value of “standing out” in a society that SO highly prizes “fitting in.” I’ve ebbed and flowed in terms of how much I’ve attempted to conform; admittedly, sometimes I’ve given in WAY too much and I always felt stupid trying to do so. It NEVER made me happy.

    I think we all go through the phase of feeling pressured to “grow up” and then later comes the phase of being old enough not to care. 🙂 I’m well into the latter phase, although sometimes I still ask my husband, “Do I look ridiculous??” I am endlessly thankful for that man, who always responds with a passionate “Hell no – it ‘s everyone else who looks ridiculous!”

    Thank you for posting this – it’s inspiring, and comforting to know there are others out there who feel that individuality is worth holding on to!

    1. Hi Kitty,

      thank you. I’m glad you know what I mean.
      I still wonder about my identity on some days.
      I’ve grown so accustomed to being my competent work-self I sometimes have to force myself to turn back into the “real me”.

  2. Whenever I feel like I should try to blend in more, I flip through a Lands’ End catalog and I feel better. I should add though, that this is with the exception of their swimsuits — they have some cute bathing suits.

  3. Yes! I have had these feelings come and go over the last few years. I was always very bohemian/vintage with little edge thrown in now and then. I somehow strayed away and now I feel like I’ve lost a bit of the “courage” I need to wear things that make me stand out. The thing is, when I dressed like that, I felt that I was much closer to my true self…. I’m slowly trying to re-incorporate a lot of the things I love back into my daily attire. Now I’m always looking for ways to add in a little Steampunk/Victorian/Gypsy.

    (Just realized I wasn’t signed up as a follower yet. I’m fixing that now!)

    1. Hi Laura!

      That’s exactly how it feels to me, too. Lost courage, false sense of responsibility… *sigh* And yes, dressing the way I used too felt more like “me” than dressing like everybody else does. Why do we lose curage at a certain age, I wonder?

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