How we define who we truly are

  Identity is a complex and ever-growing topic. Most of us instinctively reach out for our ID papers (literally or figuratively) when some...


Identity is a complex and ever-growing topic. Most of us instinctively reach out for our ID papers (literally or figuratively) when someone asks who we are. We feel content in the knowledge that we know and can evidence our identities. Indeed, a lot of individuals engage in complex administrative procedures to make sure that society can acknowledge who they truly are, whether it’s a name change, gender change, or even family status. The first thing I did when getting married was schedule appointments to get all my documents changed over. I had work change my email address. Our name is such a big part of who we think we are. But as much as we hang onto our government identities and our nicknames, it becomes obvious that these don't actually reveal who we are. It doesn’t answer the question of what you like, what you want to achieve, who you want to be, etc. The longer you ignore those questions, the more difficult it is to understand yourself and stay true to yourself. It’s time to ask once and for all who you are.

Your passport doesn’t hold the (entire) answer

As mentioned, your ID documents don’t hold the key to understanding yourself. Your passport, especially, is one of the most commonly misunderstood proof of identity. In fact, I've never even had a passport. A passport doesn’t just share your name and date of birth. It also connects you to specific cultures and travels. Yet it can be even more confusing to understand your identity if you have dual citizenship. Say you’ve got both Mexican and US passports. Your identity is somewhere between Mexican and the American culture. You're the product of a mixed and complex background, which means you may often have to pick and choose the cultural elements that make sense for you. Your culture plays a major role in your identity - the things that are important to you, who you are, and who you ancestors are. But culture isn't the only part of your identity. It's important to understand all the different things that make you you.

Your style needs versatility

Versatility in style and tastes is all about allowing yourself to showcase your moods, desires, and needs in a variety of ways. Your outfit can express how you feel, for example. But failing to diversify your style means you could deny an important part of yourself without knowing it. Give yourself room for expressing a full range of moods and emotions through your style. I've always wanted to have a set style that screams "KAYLA!" but I'm starting to understand that it's okay that my style is eccentric and may incorporate so many different takes on what style can truly be.

You are allowed to not recognize yourself

Do you have moments when you question the decisions you’ve taken in the past? "What was I thinking?This isn’t like me at all." Here's the thing: We change all the time. We're constantly growing and redefining ourselves as we gain more experience in life. The choices you made when you were 15 may not be relevant today. And that’s okay. Allowing yourself to change your mind is about remaining true to who you are at any given moment. 


We're all on a self-discovery journey. Our culture, our style, and our decisions constantly give us clues as to who we are and who we would like to be. The key to exploring our identities is to keep on questioning, experimenting, and learning as you figure out which path makes you happy. We are intersectional beings and it's important the we remain true to we actually are and figure out where we want to move towards.

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