ON IDENTITY

Hello everyone! I’ve been very silent lately because of schoolwork (it’s 2 weeks deep by the way). As always, I take homework not as a task but as an exploration as well. Here’s a journal entry for my HE 101 Class. I just wanted to share it with you guys 🙂

Right now, I am facing very dire conflicts concerning my identity. First of all, I haven’t fully realized who I really am. I’ve always felt more grounded taking the person I should be as a guide in identifying who I truly am. I’m also still in the process of finding answers to my probing existential crisis. I believe this also has something to do with my decision to become an agnostic. I’ve found out that it was actually easier to predestine myself if I were to consider my former religion. Unfortunately, doing so would contradict the new principles I follow, which took me countless nights of unbiased reflection and guided inquiry to craft. I’ve gone this far to understand my own existence and going back to my former state would simply feel like I’ve given up. No. I find it quite unacceptable. As small as this problem sounds, it has taken quite a toll on me. Sometimes I’d have some sort of panic attack as though I feel completely vulnerable given the fact that in the long run, certainty is actually quite elusive in this world. I mean seriously, what is reality to be exact? I cannot trust my senses on this one, probably not even with logic. It is probably something that can only be resolved if I were a higher being or something. And this is exactly what worries me, to the point that I’d also have moments of disorientation with the reality I’m living in, as though I’ve gone lost somehow, which is probably what dying would feel like. Nevertheless, I’d always find a way to keep my cool and resurface back into the common reality which everybody else claims to be true. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that I don’t know how I’d be able to keep pulling myself back together all on my own. Another contradiction that messes this up even further is that there is no well-designed method or guide in finding the meaning of one’s life which in the end also defines who we are. One must create his own meaning for his life. I’ve done a lot of things that would help me resolve this. I’ve taken Philosophy classes, engaged in more meaningful conversations and also did my research. Though I haven’t really found the answer yet, I have to say that I did make a ton of progress in the long run. Right now, I’m planning to take this self-declared mission of mine up a notch by catching up on hobbies and interests I used to have before. These are the things which I used to consider as indicators of my identity. Unfortunately, as one grows old, he becomes pestered with even more responsibilities (which I find reasonable, of course) that I have to narrow down my bucket list every month, hoping that I finally find the ones I actually want to keep. This will definitely help me understand myself even more.

Based on Marcia’s framework, my current identity status would probably be Moratorium. I believe that now I’m actually making efforts to explore and venture into the countless definitions of myself. However, I don’t think I am still responsible enough to consider myself committed. I believe this is the only hindrance between me and achieving my identity. I believe I still have a lot of area to cover in order to develop this more fully. I do take steps that would help me achieve this like being more honest with my actions and doing my best to be more accepting of all the possible consequences of all my actions by thinking things through more thoroughly.

There are a lot of people who contributed a lot in the development of my identity. This includes my family, my childhood friends and most importantly, the people I’ve met when I got into college. It was a very different experience compared to when I was in grade school and high school. This time, I felt even more drawn to find myself rather than sticking to what my school and family thinks I ought to be. It was a different kind of freedom, but also a lot more dangerous, I think. This time, there isn’t really anyone demanding me what to do. What used to be orders have been reduced to suggestions and merely guides not as an end in itself but to actually open up such matters to my own judgment. I was more in control and this has helped me discover more truthful definitions of myself. Out of all the people I’ve acknowledged, my circle of friends when I got into college are probably the most helpful in this process. These people are more open-minded than I thought and it has helped me gain more confidence in myself-that it is indeed possible to find myself without clashing with another person’s self severely. I think this is actually quite beautiful and thanks to these friends of mine, I have somehow become more optimistic in resolving such matters. College was surely a big stretch but it has also helped me understand maturity even more. Maturity isn’t really upholding specific stereotypes that would, by lay-man’s standards, define what a grown-up is. I believe it is to be responsible and accountable for everything you do, be it something good or not because seriously, we all commit mistakes. As in the case of morality, I’ve come to a discovery that the wrongness or rightness of an action is never black and white, as compared to how we were taught back in high school. My principles have shifted from what may be considered as Kantian into something close to Preference Utilitarianism. Being educated about such principles and theories about morality has definitely helped me define my own.

How about you? What is your current identity status? Here’s a link to help you understand Marcia’s theory better: http://www.learning-theories.com/identity-status-theory-marcia.html

Kudos to you fellow bloggers!

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Dread

I saw a sullen pile of flesh

standing behind blunt ice.

Its washed-out eyes were buried

within the skin that I detested.

The creature made a putrid smile

As its nails began ripping my neck.

I tried sewing back the patches

but it was all in vain.

Anguish began choking me.

A dry voice drifted in my ear.

I shook and held my breath.

“Give up. I am you.”