At some point or another along life’s way, everyone struggles with their identity, or the particulars of their essence. Essence is defined as “the qualities that make a thing what it is.” Naturally, the qualities that make you who you are and what you are evolve through the years, as you live and learn. Someone once said that “we are nothing more than the sum of our memories and experiences.” But, the changes you experience along the way can sometimes keep you guessing. Personally, as my primary roles have changed, from a busy non-stop mother to a more self-reflecting, self-serving role of an empty-nester, reflections of my identity have sometimes been conflicted. While many of my qualities have been enhanced from life’s experiences, and are innately part of what makes me who I am, other qualities have required nurturing and work to bring them back to the surface. Every so often, it’s important to recognize and cultivate the qualities or the essence that once fueled our souls, and sparked our own dreams and aspirations. And, acknowledging and identifying the qualities that makes each of us unique and special is an important step in remembering and restoring qualities that we’ve pushed aside and shoved to recesses of those memories and experiences, such as strengths and weaknesses, fears and dreams, or beliefs and desires.
And, while we’re talking about identity, it has been with great interest and quite a bit of amusement that I have watched the increasing numbers of quizzes that have populated the social networks, sparking readers curiosity in discovering their true essence. What is your “hippie” name? What career were you “destined to pursue?” What is the “quality” that makes you unique? What type of “flower” are you? These quizzes are certainly not scientific, and yet they’re fun and interesting because they verify what we already believe, or they offer insight into what we want to know about ourselves. I find them worth the time invested, since they randomly remind me of why the daffodil is my favorite flower, and why I’m a child of the 70’s. They reassure me that I have easygoing vibes (hard to plug-into sometimes), and that I’m a Hippie at heart. They trigger thoughts and questions about my likes and dislikes, sparking further reflection of what makes me…ME.
S0me quotes about Identity:
“It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question ‘who am I’ except the voice inside herself.”
― Betty Friedan
“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera