Establishing An Identity

So you’ve recently discovered a feeling that you’ve been pretending your whole life, or that you’re trying to be something you’re not. Or maybe it’s more like, you never actually knew who you were…are…will be. Take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay. Not specifically goth, today, but I’ll make it up to you. I was debating on including statistics that supported lots of people go through this, and a dazzling array of articles that told success stories, but nope. I’d much rather talk to you, yes you, like a friend over coffee.

The Very Short Version of Social History

Once upon a time, there was this idea that people go through these rigidly set phases in their lives. Basically, your formative years were adolescence to mid twenties, and it was kind of, but not really unspoken that your end goal was to be this standard adult. For a very long time, like the 1900s where classes systems became a little more detailed than “This is my land, I just let you work for me on it.”, society (as a whole) and media (consumed and produced by that society) supported it. But let’s fast forward to a time when everybody had a television. You have these shows, movies featuring 30 somethings dating, and there’s this social script, “Oh I’m a good girl/boy…I went to such and such school, I work here, blah, blah, blah.” Any movie or show that featured someone who didn’t adhere to the norm, typically had a message that they were outcasts and loosely written moral ending of acceptance or some shit. But you still had the template in society, where if you didn’t want to be a CEO, a doctor, a lawyer,a big time money maker with a good family, then you were not valuable. Recently, all this pressure to adhere to that idea has begun to withdraw, leaving many people like they have not been true to themselves Their original goal of reaching standard adulthood no longer applies.

What is “standard adulthood”?

Money over happiness, people pleasing over pleasing yourself, family over anything, marriage over dating forever, stability is paramount, instability in your 30s is disgusting, no problems of any kind, have the perfect life in as many people’s minds as humanly possible. You know, typical 1900s bullshit that has been allowed to wrap around individualism of today and choke the happiness out of it.

Well that’s a brief and beautiful backstory, Zakkarrii, but I don’t feel like I know myself any better for it

Here are the truths. You, as an adult, with rent, family, a life of responsibilities, cannot hit reset, be a baby and change everything. Erase time traveling from your list of solutions. You are, however, a person with experiences and desires. Use these things as your guide for finding out who you are. Like do you want a fancy car? The answer is why. “I want it for myself.” Why? “The attention it will bring me.” or “I just love the way I feel in it.” Any answer is a valid answer, because it can be traced back to a personality trait of some kind. Are big questions too hard to answer right now? Use small things, I like purple because it makes me feel safe and powerful.

But I feel like I’m starting from scratch, what then?

Have I ever told you the real story of the name Zakkarrii Edison Daniels? 2008, I felt like I wasn’t very present here, in my life. An empty, hollow shell of a human being with no future, no desires, no heart. I didn’t want to give up, but I felt I had no resources to help me, except for, well, me. So I pretended, what if I could start over, who would I be? I wrote down all the qualities I wanted to have, like a creation of an alter ego or something. I wrote down the things I didn’t like about myself, and tired to draw out paths to opposite qualities. (I used to be so shy….) Then I started being that alter ego and people noticed, of course. “You’re not like yourself”, “why are you faking it?” I lost friends through it, but I knew it was right for me. Initially, there was a sharp distinction between me and Zakkarrii, but the more fluid the transition became, the Zakkarrii and I became the same person. So now, today, there are lots of reasons I use the name Zakkarrii, but I am actually that person.

But it is important to remember, who you are is not a rigid thing. It’s a flexible, fluid thing, subject to change. Figure out who you want to be today (right now I want to be a Raising Kanes, eating chicken and toast…) and start there. You could also work backwards and figure out who you’re not. There are options, we have time.

There is this weird business of copying and adopting traits or entire personalities. I see it as a safety net. You may pick someone who is popular and/or well liked, but you will not be a perfect copy. I like Adele’s personality, the way her true self clashes with this idea of what singers are supposed to act like or say. That appreciation may lead me to not worry so much about being perfect all the time, but I’m not going to start adopting an accent and saying things she says. You see, we can be similar to other people, in interests, mannerisms, but it is in the choosing of who we are that separates us, gives us personality. So why not, why not watch movies and get ideas about who you want to be, but watch a dozen movies, hell 100. Become a masterpiece of the traits you like, tied together with things you like, and where you want to be in the future. I’m not saying it’s easy, but you certainly won’t come up empty handed.

The post for the 666 is Pick 5 things that define you as a person. Try to be specific, so Goth doesn’t work, but Victorian Goth could. Why these things? Are they things you see changing in the future? What’s one thing you wish you could put on this list?

To see what mischief I’ve been getting into while I’ve been away, take a moment to follow this blog by Joining the Exploration Party at the top of this page, for other glimpses follow me on Facebook,Youtube,Tumblr,Instagram.

Until next time,

Don’t be hungry for life. Be ravenous.

Zakkarrii Edison Daniels

6 thoughts on “Establishing An Identity

  1. jenroche1970

    This post really spoke to me. The older I get, the easier I am finding it to be who I want to be. We’re so influenced by what family and society expect us to be when we’re younger that it’s only later on in the game, we find out who we really are or want to be.

  2. Pingback: Establishing An Identity | gothlifeblog

  3. Pingback: Establishing An Identity | Living In Black

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