Identity Conflicts

What do you do when your perceived notion of self conflicts with your true self? You thought you knew yourself well and something comes out of left field that completely shatters that theory. Do you evolve or hide? What does it say about you how you react?

For me, an identity conflicted year was when I was 22. I just realized I was a queerling and I always thought myself to be straight. It was part of how I defined myself. It completely shook my foundation. I already establish my identity as what was “me” and “not me.” I thought I had a nice neat package to present to the world when that presentation was wrong. So, faced with this, I accepted that I was a queerling, after a year of being confused by what I was feeling. I suppose I didn’t want to admit it to myself. It wasn’t the fact that I cared whether I was queer or not, it was more the fact that I had “defined” myself and the definition didn’t fit. I am happier for redefining myself and accepting myself for who I am.

Some people don’t accept themselves when they have realizations about their person that they might not like. I think this is the more painful route to take because they are always denying themself from being who they really are. It becomes a matter of keeping up appearances and putting skeletons in the closet. It becomes about acting and being an image rather than being you.

What do you have to lose by being yourself? What do you stand to gain? By denying yourself being yourself, you lose true connections. Everything is fake because it is all an act. Whereas, if you are yourself without holding back, you have freedom to be you. Your connections are real – since there is no inhibitions on your part.

I’ve only been drunk once in my life and I learned from that experience that I wanted to be as free sober as I was drunk. I didn’t want to be dependent on a substance to show my true colors or blame it when something was improper. I wanted to be me – all the time.

I used to play the game with keeping up appearances to be what I thought people wanted me to be and not being myself. I just got to the point I couldn’t handle such fakery anymore. I stopped playing the game. I lost some, gain more, and now I am much happier for it. I can wake up in the morning and face myself for who I am – not who I want to be – I am my ideal self.

It takes a lot of working on yourself to get to the ideal state. But, really, what is more important in this world than working on making yourself the best you can be? So often people settle for an image that is being sold to them rather than figuring things out for themselves. It’s a harder path to take but in the end is much more fulfilling.

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