Sociology: Identity Essay, Research Paper
Identity-?Ones personal qualities.?Identiy is something only he or she can fully define. My uncle says I am affectionate,cheerful, and calm. My grandmother sees me as slim, pretty and sweet. My dad described me as perky, cheerful and happy, my mom says beautiful, gentle, and self-conscious. These adjectives describe me accurately, yet they are only abstract versions of me. Adjectives cannot begin to describe me and I aknowlege these descriptions for what they are, a condensed translation from my outward self to the world. It is impossible for anyone to understand me completely because nobody has experienced the things I have. My mother has never cherished a raggedy doll named Katie and my father never spent hours upon hours making collages and scrap books for his future children. My uncle never hid in the back of a pick-up-truck and traveled four hours to New York and my grandmother has never walked hours in the rain looking for the Queen of England. My identity is something only I can define.
Think of a stacking doll. Each outer doll removed reveals another; smaller and more volnerable than the previous. With each section combined there is a whole, but with only a section you cannot see the doll in it?s entirety and it is impossible to see whether another is hiding inside. Ones identity is similar. With little knowlege of a person it is impossible to know what is inside and whether there is more to see. Identity is broader than one word definitions, different aspects such as feelings and memories contribute. In order to get the full sense of who a person is, the inner layers must be revealed.
The outer layer is how people see me. ?Pretty? was an adjective my family and friends used to describe me. Pretty/?Pleasant to behold.? Though this phrase is not meant to be negative, It makes me feel like I am stupid and that my family couldn?t think of adjectives indicating intelligence or creativity. Pleasant means enjoyable… agreeable… welcoming. When characterizing my identity I don?t want ?pretty? to be the first word that pops into peoples minds. ?Pretty? says: dull and uninteresting. People in school know me, not because I score winning points in basketball games, or come in first in swim meets. People know me because I am supposedly ?good-looking.? Sometimes I feel like I don?t have an identity aside from the way I look, and my definition of identify doesnt include appearance. I sometimes list the things that identify me. My strongest features are my ?different? hair and my ?clear skin.? People have often told me that I should be a ?hand model? or go into commmercialism because I have a ?unique smile? These compliments put a temporary smile on my face, but having clear skin does not make me feel good about myself. Having clear skin does not give me the confidence and self-assurance I need to be happy and accomplish my goals. But according to the majority of my friends and family:my looks are going to get me the farthest ? So I guess in a way my looks are my identity.
The problem with characterizations and first impressions is that I don?t give an accurate perseption of the real me. I often seem ditsy and spacy, and sometimes I act in a way that doesnt portray the real me, and that frustrates me beyond words. My friends call me ?bubbly,? ?silly,? and ?funny? trying to think of a way to say ditsy that wont hurt my feelings, and these traits aren?t neccisarily bad. Atleast I have characteristics that make others happy and cheerful when they are around me. Maybe my identity is best summed up as spacy, ditsy, and distracted.
?Eventhough my grades arent wonderful, and I don?t ride a horse six days of the week, atleast I have the amazing ability to understand everyones pain.? A year ago this sentiment was what kept me confident, but lately I have been struggling to believe my friends even like me. Somewhere between junior and senior year I have started analyzing my personality and trying to figure out who I am, and I?m not happy with what I have found. The problem isn?t so much that I don?t like who I am, it?s more that I dont like what others think I am. I used to spent my time concentrating solely on keeping good realtionships with my friends and now that everyone is leaving for college, I realize that I based my identity on who I was friends with at the time, and how well-liked I was, and now I am left without any particular interests or characteristics that stand me appart from the rest. That realization has left me very confused. My mother always told me that if I didn?t concentrate on my school work and find things I was interested in, I would wake up one day and realize I didn?t have friends or a future. This comment is harsh, but true. Friends took the place of my passions, and by relying on others to make me happy, even if I think I?m helping, I have lost touch with myself. I let others shape me, and maybe that?s my identity.
My passions and positive characteristics have gone downhill since my mother has become ill. The positive features I used to praise myself on are slowly diminishing. For example, I used to work at a daycare and that was what made me, ME. Children are my passion and since I?ve lost this ?release? it?s been hard for me to keep in touch with myself. For a year, working out was my passion, but the days between going to the gym quickly turned to weeks, and soon I quit altogether. Since my mother has been sick I feel like a huge ominous cloud has taken over my identity. Instead of ?fun, corky ? Lily, it?s now ?boring, unmotivated? Lily. I spend so much time lost in my own mind, trying to figure out how the bills will be paid, what will happen if my mom becomes too sick to take care of my sister, what I will make for dinner…that I seem boring and uninterested to everyone else. In a way, my mothers problems are my identity
?I want to be different. Just like all the other different people I want to be like. I want to be just like all the differnet people and assert my individuality along with the others who are differnet like me.? This is a perect quote for me. I truely want to be different, but I base my definition of different on other people rather than figuring out who I am and doing what I want to do. Becoming the person I want to be is too difficult for me to accomplsh. I get caught up in things I?m not doing right rather than the things I am doing right. Instead of ?giving it all I?ve got? and learning from the maistakes I make along the way, I conclude that I have too many faults, that are too engraved into me to solve. So my identity can also be characterized by my low confidence and fear of failure .
?It?s a blessed thing that in every stage in every age some one has had the individuality and courage enough to stand by his own convictions.? The part of me that sums up my identity best is not the adjectives given by family, or the faults I find in myself. My identity is my desire to better myself, and my passion for children. My identity is who I want to be and what I do to accomplish my goals My identity is the feelings and emotions I pour into my journal every day, and the way I feel when I do something right. My identity is not what others thing of me or what I think of myself after a bad day. My identity is the love and confidence I have in myslef, and the beauty inside.