I’ve been grabbling with some issues lately that aren’t easy to talk about. And in fact I’m not going to go into detail, but they revolve around my physical and mental health, and my primary project. I’ve done a lot of soul searching as a result and I’ve come to realize that everything has made me question my identity.
What even is identity? My handy dictionary application says there are two main definitions that are relevant:
1, The distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity
2. The individual characteristics by which a thing or person is recognized or known
Throughout the past year and a half, definition one has become clearer. I’ve been able to tap into myself and finally see who I think I really am. Because of some recent circumstances though I’ve started to question even that. And that’s because of definition number two – by which a person is known.
Does that mean my identity is dependent on what other people think about me? At what point does it stop being my identity and become someone else’s perception.
Does the Peace Corps Ghana community define who I am as a person? Do they establish my identity? And why does it matter to me either way? Why do I let other people define who I am as a person? Why is it so difficult to separate perception from reality when it comes to identity?
Do I really know who I am? The answer to that question used to be yes. Now, I just don’t know. Is who I think I am enough for other people? Or do other people have to put in their two cents to establish who I really am?