Identity is an interesting thing. Each person on earth has one. You have one. Your boss has an identity. I bet even your pet has an identity. I remember the first time I realized what the statement “The Big Dog”, or “Big Man on Campus” and other saying really meant; they were identity statement about someone.
Did you know that you “craft” your identity?
What does that mean?
How long does this creation take?
Those are great questions! I will take the second one first. The simple answer is; “a lifetime”. From early childhood we are always playing a role, dressing up to be someone that we want to be. Later in life we have these “hot trends” called “Makeovers”. How many life, face, home, closet, business, relationship…..makeovers can one person have without becoming completely confused about who they really are? What happens after the cameras go away or the writer stops writing about it? Life returns to the way it way……our normal….our real identity. If you are a “messie” you are probably a “messie” for life. If you are a neat and tidy, alphabetized spice kind of person that is (I am sure they will find it in the DNA someday) who you are. Cultures also play a huge role in this.
OK, so let’s take the other question now: What is an identity? That is the person that you are when you take off your makeup and designer clothes at the end of the day. When you wash your face and slip into your sweats and house shoes. That’s the real you.
When you have one of those magnificent days off and the entire family is out of the house for the entire day and you have maybe 6 luxurious hours to yourself, what do you do? Do you run and shower, do your hair and makeup and then pull out your power suit and heels and strut out of the house? My guess is that is not your first choice. You first choice is to kick back and just relax and go with no make up, maybe take a leisurely long bubble bath and wrap up in a cozy robe and vegetate.
Identity is like a costume. We put it on and we go out into the world and be that “correct person in that correct job.”
I once got fired for being myself. Now that was tough! I was a naive new college grad just trying to make my workplace a better place, but I did not follow protocol. The truth is I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Once my superior fired me in a very nice way I might add, he clued me in. Boy, that would have been nice to know before I started to work. You see I had a naive identity and I didn’t have the “professional identity” that all my peers had.
We each have a professional identity and a personal identity and we have a “private” identity. We put these on and off on a daily basis.
Who are you?