The aspects of my identity that are visible are that I am a female that smiles about most things; I have blonde hair and am usually outside. I am someone that laughs often and tries to make the people around me happy as well. The pictures also show me doing the things I love: sports, traveling, and being with friends. The things that the pictures don’t show are how much of a people pleaser I am, how I put others’ happiness far above my own, how I feel alone often, and how I actually am an introvert. These selfies hide the sense of identity that I know to be true, because on the outside I look like a normal, happy person. That’s not to say that I am not happy often, however, I frequently struggle with finding a balance.
I don’t want to go into detail about how I’m actually depressed on the inside or am unsatisfied with my life, that’s not true; however, I think a lot of times people take advantage of me in their life or overlook me, and that’s something that no camera will ever be able to capture. This is significant in how my friends view me because they often think I’m fine when I’m not. I typically would prefer to be alone then at a big party or in the middle of a crowd. While I want to be someone that people feel they can talk to, I also need someone to talk to every once in a while.
I don’t think my identity is vastly different from my parent’s generation. I think there was and still is a lot of mask wearing when it comes to people’s true feelings and emotions. I know that I, for one, wear a mask just about everyday. I don’t want people to feel that they need to worry about me, so I smile and laugh and act “normal”.
These single stories and my identity remind me that everyone has a complete story. I’m quite certain that even some of my closest friends don’t understand how I feel, and that’s alright. I don’t need anyone’s pity or to be looked down upon; moreover, the people in my service learning don’t want pity. They don’t want to be looked at as less than anyone else, they are people too. We’re all humans battling the uncertainties of life. The key to find what we know is true about ourselves and each other and live everyday with a reckless abandon for it.