Identity is a really big thing. And complex. There are probably tens of millions of books and theses and just as many frustrated researchers toiling over and dissecting this topic in all its myriad forms.I understand that however messy the things are, they can be kind of necessary as a way of understanding an individual’s relationship to the rest of the world, their country, their community, or even their family.
Over the past few weeks I’ve found it amazing how identities can come not-so-neatly wrapped; and arrive to you like a gift you’d assumed was meant for someone else but was actually yours all along. After beating this subject over and over again with several friends and acquaintances, I’ve found that they do not always fit the way we think they will. In trying to make sense of who we are, we struggle to define based on an astounding amount of established and understood identities that do not necessarily work.
You’re bisexual, but you lean towards one gender/sex. You hold more than one citizenship but relate better to one or the other. You get anxious when someone asks where you’re from because there are three beloved cities in which you left parts of your childhood and you don’t know which one is really “home.”
This is a rudimentary (and probably ridiculous) distillation, but identity for me is a theory. It’s an outline. The words that people use to describe me (and the words I use to describe myself, for that matter) are expedient. They are the best fit, and they are by no means perfect. The ways in which you deviate and contradict the “theory” are just as relevant, if not more so than the ways in which you follow it.
[I should just retitle this blog as "people are complicated" and just cut right to the chase.]