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There will always be pre-conceived ideas about ourselves due to the history and nature of our world, but then it is up to ourselves to deal with those ideas as we wish, and form the identity that we want others to find true about ourselves.This essay speaks on my own experience in identity, and how I have chosen to make sense of it. The first specks of light gleaming into our eyes, the first bits of sound from the outside world entering our ears. We observe people, situations, social interactions, our surroundings. There comes a time where with everything we’ve collected and stored in our brain, we begin to connect it to this “self” that we discover.Many times people are shocked, as if they can’t even believe that that is actually part of my identity. Growing up, however, I realize that it is a part of me, and I share experiences with other people who are in the same position that I am.
But with all of the lessons I have learned, all of the pieces I have collected, I found that I couldn’t just leave them all sitting around.In focussing inward, I find that there are a lot of things make up my identity.Being both white and Puerto Rican, it’s not particularly easy to claim the Puerto Rican part of my identity. As if I didn’t already have trouble claiming that part of my identity, due to more personal reasons, people’s disbelief made it a lot easier to just ignore that side of me.It just wouldn’t be true to say, however, that the way that we self-identify is all that identity is. I have decided that there are mainly three different types of identity: self, or private identity, public identity, and perceived identity.Public identity and perceived identity are not one in the same.I look up at the moon and feel it looking back at me; and in that moment, I feel as one with the world, and both me and the world know who I am.I never knew what it was like to be whole — someone with a complete sense of self-identity, whose interests were concrete in their own stability, and whose body felt as if it was something to be owned, mastered, and controlled.These concepts are perhaps normal by adolescent standards — after all, the ages of 11 through 20 are undoubtedly the most chaotic phases of an individual’s life, where friendships run amok, crises are commonplace, and even the most stable child wanders through the woods for their own self-discovery.However, at the age of 26, I find it difficult to navigate through the tides of my own everyday life as if I’ve never matured from the age of self-confusion.My prepubescent years and subsequent teenage years were spent in disarray, with portions of myself seemingly floating in the mist, my arms reaching out to grasp a piece of myself.They ultimately slipped through my fingers like warm water.