“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.” – Stephen Chbosky, Perks Of Being A Wallflower.
A lot of us struggle with our identity. We struggle and we try and change every inch of ourselves to be something that society is more accepting of. Some of us might even be embarrassed of things that essentially make us who we are. Be it your parents, your birth place or even your race. This part of your identity cannot be changed, so what do we do? We adopt a personality that completely dissociates ourselves from our core.
I’m not going to lie, I am a part of this majority. I’ve struggled to accept who I was. I never felt like I was good enough to be part of something. I was on the constant search to figure out who I was. I wanted to know quickly and in this search I lost myself. I neglected the good that surrounded me and the people that were placed in my life to help me get to wherever I was meant to be. I got caught up with this idea that I had to be “perfect” and if I wasn’t I would be an utter failure. I constantly compared myself to my friends, family and even strangers. And all of this for what?
Society’s definition of perfect?
And one day, everything just clicked. I know it sounds so cliché, but it’s true. One day it just occurred to me that I will never be perfect, and that’s okay. That’s okay. Perfect is not something that anybody is. Instead of striving to be perfect, I strived to happy. I strived to be the best version of myself; someone that my family and loved ones would be proud of.
I started taking my time with things. I stopped rushing life. I did whatever felt right for me at that moment. Take university for example, many of my friends are in their final year and I’m just starting out. I took my time to look for the course that I felt would be the most beneficial for my future. And I found it, after looking for 1.5 years.
Who am I at my core? I’m a Chinese Singaporean who likes dogs but is afraid of cats; who prefers sneakers over heels ANYDAY; who would never go on a hike unless a gun is held to my head; who sometimes has a little too many drinks; who cries way too easily at movies; who sometimes loves too much and sometimes loves too little.
These things essentially makes me who I am. And maybe 10 years down the road some of these things won’t be true of me anymore. And honestly, I’m pretty damn excited to find out what stays with me throughout the years and what doesn’t.
Identity is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?