The Identity Crisis

who-am-iWho am I? What am I here for? These are life long questions that most of us struggle to answer. Many wander through life without discovering their identity. Some of us take up the identity of others who influence us with their way of life, for others whatever is in vogue brings about a change in their identity. For some the crisis is obvious for everyone to see, for others it is well hidden.  A person who has beautiful, brown skin chooses to bleach their skin because of a crisis of identity which makes them believe that light skin superior to dark skin. A mixed race individual suffers from a crisis of identity resulting from not being sure they are black or white, a full grown man who has had several girl crushes and dates as a young boy and teenager wakes up one morning only to declare that he is gay due to a crisis of identity!

Many of us grew up wanting to be Doctors, Lawyers and Engineers, not because we knew what those professions entailed, on the contrary, we mentioned them when we were asked because our parents had probably drummed it into our ears that if you wanted to be somebody worthy of recognition in life, you had to be in one of those fields. At the end of the day, we became frustrated young adults because we studied what we were not even remotely interested in and came out of school confused. Even worse, we took up our current jobs purely out of the need to survive and make a living and not for the love of it (A familiar story for those of us in Nigeria, where good jobs are difficult to come by).

My 2 cents is this…first of all, it is important that as an individual, you try to discover yourself. Appreciate your individuality and uniqueness. Love yourself. What are your hobbies,values, likes and dislikes? And by all means pray and meditate…it helps! I think this is particularly important for people who have lived sheltered lives and have always had decisions taken for them or those who have low self esteem probably due to abuse or some other personal challenges, or people who have always been part of a clique, because sometimes being within a group of friends stifles our personality. Whether we admit it or not, the kind of friends we keep affects not just how people see us, but how we also see ourselves. Upon interacting with someone outside of their group of friends, they are usually almost entirely different- the girl you always believed was a snub because of her friends actually turns out to be quite friendly!

Some have said, to know what you really enjoy doing, find something you would be willing to do with joy and without any financial gratification, and I totally agree! In other words, your hobby should be your job and vice versa. So, my advice is this, find your sweet spot! Even if you currently have a day job that you really don’t care about, try to do what YOU love doing by the side, whether you are getting paid for it or not. The fulfillment it would bring cannot be quantified because you will know you have found your haven!

Self love cannot also be overemphasized. If we are at peace with ourselves and have come to a full acceptance of who we are, then it will never occur to us that someone else is better because of the color of their skin, texture of their hair or whether they are skinnier or fatter. We will see ourselves as equal to anyone regardless of our personal challenges or geographical location. Finding or knowing ones identity may involve a continuous process of self-discovery and affirmation for some, which makes sense because life would be boring if everyone was so self assured. The journey is what makes things interesting.

My name is Ololade Ajekigbe, Female, Christian, Nigerian, Black and Proud Writer and Blogger… Who are you?

28 Replies to “The Identity Crisis”

  1. If u ever take on another person’s identity or try to be who people want u to be and not be yourself, u will never ever be happy and fulfilled. As simple as abc.

  2. Well done my sister. Nice blog as usual. Whoever u r,whatever u r,wherever u r from..my take is always appreciate urself n love urself adorably. Know that God created n made u specially for Himself.

    1. Well done my sister. Nice blog as usual. Whoever u r,whatever u r,wherever u r from..my take is always appreciate urself n love urself adorably. Know that God created n made u specially for Himself. Gbosa for u dear.

  3. Cool write up. On point too. It’s a huge problem in d world today probably cos of d social media & medical advancement in body improvements & d likes. I hope a lot of us can be spot on with what we truly have been created for then nothing else matters.

    Thanks for sharing..

  4. Very good words Lolade. You hit the spot all the time. One.of my personal statements is this: ”if you feel happy with what you are doing, if its for the right reasons and no one will get hurt, then go for it regardless of what anyone says”. our parents can’t know everythng about us. We all have an inner strength and ability that makes us happy. only problem is parents can fustrate efforts in making you happy because they don’t see sense in what you do. I’m a sport blogger and some people have questioned me for that. Regardless of that I will go on because i enjoy it. To this end i would say ”the biggest atrocity of all is to indoctrinate our children into a system that does not value their creative expression, nor encourage their unique abilities’. Let’s give time to see what our children’s abilities are. It might be silly but you never know where it can take the child to on the road of a successful life.

    1. Well said Kunle, I really don’t see why anyone should question your choice of being a sports blogger, as long as that’s what you enjoy doing. I have visited it and liked what I read. Thank you as always for your insightful comments.

  5. Exactly why should you be questioned? All the efforts have made me write for the no.1 football website goal.com. This is my latest feature on the website http://www.goal.com/en-ng/news/4079/features/2014/07/10/4948536/germany-the-ultimate-party-poopers?ICID=SP_HN_1 And thanks for liking the contents on my blog. I appreciate. Like i said go for what you love instead of hearing criticism all the time. Criticism is enough to weigh you down if you don’t have the strength move on in the midst of it.

  6. Now this has got me thinking oo. . Very valid to say one’s hobby should be one’s job and vice versa. As usual, you are on point on all fronts in this piece. Nice one Lolo. Keep it up!

  7. Great post lollipops. Quite insightful. I find my identity in Christ cos my life is hid in him. I like d ‘pray and meditate’ works wonders. Kudos to you sis.

  8. Just finding time to read this although i got the notification before now. It is one area of life i have always stood my ground that one must identify what they are and what they want from life, not a forced or compelled life that majority have now. I am a living example of some who was able to identify early in life my career path even as early as a primary six student through God grace and an insight from a mother (who also believe one should pursue one dream and not let circumstances dictate). Today when i am faced with challenges it doesn’t move me because i see it as a calling for me. I am a firm believer in pursuing your passion and not the highest paying job or career because our work life constitute 90% of our adult life and our adult life is 75% of our lifespan. Thank you

    1. Thanks for the insightful comment Yemi. Lucky you to have found your calling in life. I totally agree that ones passion should be pursued because in it we find peace and fulfilment.

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