Thursday, November 24, 2016


I woke up at 7am today; didn't get out of bed until noon. Archery is cancelled for the weekend so I'm probably not going to leave the apartment for the next three days. Thanksgiving has never been a holiday I've particularly enjoyed, and this year seems to be no different. It doesn't look like I'll get much rest either, as I've been assigned homework and problem sets for every class. I had planned to work on scholarship applications today, but seeing an email saying that I had not been selected as a finalist for a scholarship I had applied for earlier this semester was incredibly discouraging. It's been a long time since I haven't received something that I want, and I don't mean that in a self-serving way. I'd like to believe that I am good enough for the goals I strive for, so rejection like this is devastating. Still, I take it as a reminder to not be complacent about my achievements. There's still a long journey ahead to become who I want to be — achieving identity.

But again, I find myself struggling with the questions, "Who am I," and "What do I want?" Since the election, I've had to reconsider my entire five-year forecast. I've had the rug pulled out from under me. As a person built on spreadsheets, notepads that say "Keep Calm and Organize" and "Accomplish" — I feel so lost. For the first time in my life I don't have a plan. I find myself having a crisis about everything from what I want to do next semester to what I want to eat for dinner. I can't fix things because I'm not entirely sure what's wrong. I just want to know.

Thomas Sanders does an excellent job of putting exactly what I'm thinking into words:

I suppose this is as good a time as any to reevaluate my understanding of the concept of identity.

I tend to identify myself based on what I do, thus, the derailment of my career plans as a catalyst for an identity crisis. My participation in the extracurriculars I have chosen has also come under self scrutiny. I like to think that I do things that fulfill me as a person, not things that look good on a resume. In CREATE, I am an artist and a teacher; this I am satisfied with. In BPR, I find that I enjoy writing and editing, yet my frustration with communication and community also comes to light.

With archery, I had the most difficult time deciding if it was an interest worth pursing to me. At one point, I was wondering if accepting my mediocrity in archery was the death of a dream. Had I given up on myself? I've talked before about the all or nothing attitude, and I still find that I have difficulty letting go of that mentality. With archery, it's obvious to me that I won't be the best at it and it was silly to think that I was ever worried about that. If I have the time to continue archery throughout the next few semesters, I want to keep it as my zen self improvement project. I don't have to be the best at something for it to have value in my life.

Ultimately, there are certain things that I've found to be fairly consistent about myself throughout my life. I like to organize, plan, strive for perfection in what I do and who I am as a person. As I'm typing this, I'm trying to correct my posture. I am an introvert, independent, introspective, as clearly expressed through this blog as a constant tool of self improvement and self reflection. I am ambitious and resilient, and I will continue to fight for what I want.

For once, questioning my identity has led to a greater sense of self than I started with. I wish I had saved the first draft of this post to have a keepsake of how lost and conflicted I was about my identity a week ago. Everything felt like it had been upended and impossible to put back together, but like cleaning out my tote bag, I've found that I really have the essentials down and I only need to clear out a few annoying gum wrappers. I may struggle with my identity again, but right now, I am satisfied with who I am. I look around me and see sunshiney windows and sunshiney walls. I know I'll be okay, it's just a matter of how I'm getting there. ◊

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