Who am I?

So today I gave my first of (hopefully) many mentoring talks to the middle schoolers and, although most of them weren’t super excited about the idea of discussing harder-to-talk-about-topics (though I did have one class who were very engaged, go me, I know), I still think I got through to most of them (at least I can pretend that I did to sleep better at night). This week’s topic was personal identity; more specifically, asking yourself “Who am I?” and then trying to work through figuring it out.

It’s kind of an interesting and difficult topic to broach, especially given the age group, because it’s an awkward and weird time for most kids in middle school. But not only that, figuring out who you are can be a challenge no matter the age, because who really knows who they are? I certainly don’t know who the fuck I am. I know what kind of person I am, towards my friends and family and even people I don’t like all that much, and I know what kind of things I like, and the kind of labels you could put on me (if I ever let that happen, ‘cos ain’t no labels goin’ be holding me down, yo), but what does that really say about my core being? I know your identity is made up of many different parts all mashed together, so at least heading in this direction is a good start for me, but how do you ever really know who you are or who you are meant to be? I think the answer is you don’t.

Think about it, you aren’t the same person you were ten years ago. Maybe you still have some of the same qualities and traits, but if you met the younger version of yourself, you’d probably be like what the fuck is wrong with you.

What unfortunate-looking hair. I looked like a boy. Fail.

What unfortunate-looking hair. I looked like a boy. Fail. I still have that shirt.

No, really, what was I thinking?

But seriously, we are a complex creature, mankind, and we’re constantly adapting and evolving to suit our own needs as well as to adapt to our ever-changing environment. I think we just have to do the best with what we have and be good people and enjoy life along the way. And if that doesn’t work for someone else, they can bite me.

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