So, at 3am a few days ago I started a full-on identity crisis, as you do, and it’s ongoing. Do you ever get that feeling that you no longer know who you are? You no longer know what your true interests are. If you took out the external factors from your life; relationships, career, friends etc that you almost forget how to just “be”?
I have spent the last two years building a social media platform and community and have dedicated a large proportion of my time to it. I am so proud of what I have achieved; of Happy Smiley of my connection to you all, of the friends I have made and opportunities I have had, but does this make up my identity? As people, we are multifaceted. This means that we will have different versions of ourselves for different people. Our work persona is different to our relationship persona, which is often different from our family persona et cetera. It’s easy to become confused with this and to struggle with who we really are.
It may sound strange, but I don’t know who I am anymore. When I want to take break from work (social media), be apart from my boyfriend and not be with friends, I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I like and dislike anymore. I don’t know what I’m meant to do and who I’m meant to be. Maybe this is just the process of development. I’m starting to develop a love for makeup and for experimenting with gender representation. My fashion is changing, my personality is changing and I am changing. So maybe it’s going through this process that is making me question myself? Maybe I’m at a crossroads and am yet to decide which route I want to go down. Maybe I’m at a crucial part of my identity development that is naturally confusing and is leaving me lost in space.
My job and income are dependent on being liked, a concept that I highly dislike. Since I have started becoming more gender expressive, I am seeing an uptick in the amount of people that are no longer interested in my life. I could see this as my downfall, as me no longer representing the ripped abs, muscled arms, tanned skin and superficial lifestyle that the mainstream seems to feed off of. Or I could see it as a period of transition, as a time where my audience will naturally shift and evolve as I do. I could see it as my audience shifting to caring more about my mind and feelings more than my physique. It’s a confusing and daunting time.
When I was trying to get to sleep, I even started to question my gender. “What if I’m actually non-binary?” I thought. I’ve come to be happy presenting myself as male whilst just being more expressive and open with my identity, believing that I didn’t need to change the way I identity. What if that isn’t the case anymore? This isn’t a coming out story, nor am I coming out as non-binary at this point. I may never come to that conclusion. But I am going through an evolution of identity. I do not know who I am.
My love for makeup makes me less appealing to many people. Whilst this sounds shallow and I’ve always believed in just being who I am without caring what others think, the main fear we experience when coming out or expressing ourselves for who we are, is not being accepted. So, by expressing myself more and becoming more comfortable with who I am whilst visibly seeing people remove themselves from my life is a hard concept to grasp. Sure, I don’t know them, and the people I do know are the ones that really matter. But it is literally like watching people remove themselves from my life one at a time.
I want to just be me, but I don’t know who “me” is anymore. I know that Happy Smiley is usually a place for advice and healing, but this is more of a brain dump and an update on me. This time, I am calling for advice from you as well. The comments on this post are turned on, please drop through any advice you can give. I’m sure other people go through this and so they may be able to benefit as well.
The only advice that I can give is the following:
1. Don’t be afraid of who you really are – Being scared is normal when discovering your real identify but know that it’s natural and will pass. Everything will work out.
2. Your identity should not be dependent on other people – Being you shouldn’t be determined by the opinions or expectations of others. Be you for you, and only you.
3. You’re still a bad bitch regardless – Periodt.
I love you all. You’re allowed to be whoever you want to be, and I’m thankful for each and every one of you being on this journey with me.