I’ve been having a severe, existential identity crisis lately. I’ve come to realize that I don’t know who I am anymore. Oddly enough, when I was younger, I knew exactly who I was, even as young as 15. I knew what I believed, what I subscribed to ideals wise, all of that crap. Now though…now I feel as though I’m simply an amalgamation of everything I like, with no real personality. I feel like I’m a collection of anecdotes, opinions I’ve taken from people I admire and respect, and what I enjoy media wise (literature, radio shows, etc.). It’s…one cup embarrassing and three cups disquieting, which makes for a delicious crisis cake.
To be fair, even as a little girl I was always at a loss when told to introduce myself to the class, or how to tell new people I met what I was like. I’m not sure how to be a person anymore. I know that I’m more than my illnesses, my hobbies, my sentiments. I’m more than my anxiety, my depression, my autism. I’m more than my favorite authors and most listened to albums. I just don’t know how to really assert that part of myself, even just to myself. Am I really just a list of interests and medical diagnoses? Is that what the internet, social media, have made me? We are really boiled down to a checklist. Every single webpage for any social networking site consists of a description, whether it’s okcupid, tumblr or facebook:
Hello, my name is Maggie. I’m 27, and a lesbian. I like reading, gardening, bike riding and collecting comic books. I am currently learning how to play violin, and how to do taxidermy. My favorite bands are –
And so on and so forth. So you can see, we’ve all really been boiled down to nothing more than a list of hobbies and political opinions. It makes it easier to make friends or meet romantic interests, at least that’s what they say, but what happens when you begin to feel like that in real life? When you literally start to feel like nothing more than a chart? Who am I anymore? What do I really believe in? I know I have certain things I believe in: practicing witchcraft, equal rights, feminism and the like, but how fleshed out are these really? I call myself a witch, but I rarely practice the craft. I don’t have an altar anymore. I don’t even read anything related to the religion anymore. As much as I believe in equal rights, I don’t do anything to help further these causes, not even sharing stuff from friends on social media, and as a gay women, I think people that’s probably a problem when in reality, I just already have so many mental issues, the last thing I need to do night and day is post things like that. It’s not good for my own mental health.
You’re supposed to know who you are as you get older, aren’t you? You come into your own, and all that jazz, but I knew who I was when I was younger and now know nothing about myself other than what bands I like and that I think everyone should have the right to get married. I don’t know who I am anymore, and it’s terrifying. And instead of focusing on fixing this very real, scary issue, I throw myself headlong into work projects and the like. I ignore it all, maybe in the hopes that it’ll go away.
But my problems didn’t go away.
I went away, and I don’t know how to come back.