Identity - it's who you want to be

by - October 13, 2019


Having moved to a new city for university recently, identity and where I’m from is a subject I find myself talking about quite a lot. Meeting new people inherently involves presenting yourself and your identity (or parts of your identity). This has made it more obvious to me how identity is not something simple and there are many dimensions to it, which can sometimes be difficult to convey to people (especially someone you have just met or when you have a short period of time). This can sometimes leave you feeling a little lost or like you are not being true to yourself. 

The question of where I’m from is common and something I find quite hard to give a short answer to. As a girl who feels Spanish, has grown up with Spanish culture and has all Spanish roots (all my family is Spanish) having been born in London and living in London leaves me with a mix. Though I would definitely say I feel more Spanish than I do British because of the culture and surroundings I’ve grown up in and even just my name, I love London and it’s also a place I identify with. London has a special place in my heart. I’ve grown up there and I love the diversity and generally how open-minded and accepting the city is- not to mention the livelihood and buzz London has. Yet it can be so hard to express to people as you’re usually just considered one or the other. Often when I say I was born in London, I’m just considered British and from London like that is all there is to me. Or not from London at all because I follow different cultural customs and my name is everything but British. I’m not in any way trying to say being considered just British/Spanish or from any country is bad or shameful (nothing like that - I truly think national identity as something you don’t even choose, should never be a source of shame). I just find it falls short of who I really am- it feels like a huge part of me is being ignored- parts that make me me. What I’m trying to say is: identity is more complex than it can initially seem and you can be more than one thing (this is something I’ve spoken about on my blog before for example in this post on not fitting into boxes). 

Even though I’ve always stated how we’re diverse and are more than just a label we are assigned, my different identities (especially nationality wise) is something that I didn’t quite realise the depth of until relatively recently where I’ve found myself talking about it more. I hadn’t paid attention to the fact that there are different aspects to my identity that are more complex than I can explain on the surface. Identity is complex and it’s often oversimplified. But, that doesn’t mean you need to renounce parts of yourself and that it isn’t a part of who you are. Whilst others may have a perception of your identity, identity is something you can choose. Be who you want to be; because that’s part of your identity. It is really difficult to convey all aspects of yourself to people so there will always be parts of your identity people will not know- but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t a part of you. Remember, even though it may be oversimplified, you’re not losing a part of who you are- you are still you and I guess this is something I’ve come to notice now more than ever. 

Related posts: Being yourself and what it means | We don't fit into boxes | We all wear masks

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2 Comments

  1. What a lovely and thought provoking post. Thank you for sharing

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for checking out my blog and taking the time to leave a comment!

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