Thursday, 23 September 2010
What is Identity?
Previously, I read this boook called "The Unique Woman" by Edwin Louis Cole & Nancy Corbert Cole.
That was about 6-7 years back? At that point, i was swinging single and WAS a feminist!
I had just broken up with someone i thought was the love of my life and so, all i thought about was how to get over it and in order to do that, i needed to "prove" that i can live better without "men". To do that, i had to out-do them, which means - do a BETTER job than them in everything i can think of so that i would have no need for them - to get better results in school, to work towards being in a better position than them at work, to be self-efficient and sufficient and even to ride a bike (although i have always liked riding a bike, i haven't taken solid actions until then as i thought riding a bike was just not a girl's thing) ... perhaps i was nursing a grudge against that ex-boyfriend and was seeking a way to drop him out of my head altogether and so, sub-consciously, everything i did then, i did to "prove" a point - that i was better, stronger and i don't need anyone...
Then i found this book and thought it was interesting cos the title "The Unique Woman" was catchy... It sounded like a feminist book that i should read - and after reading it, my entire perspective of being a "feminist" changed. I remember how it elaborated that man and woman are made for different purposes and how a woman is strong when she is tender, nurturing and feminine... how she is unique BECAUSE she is a woman. The revelation came - that the term being "strong" for a woman is NOT equivalent to doing / out-doing the same things men can do... Instead, it means doing things that men cannot and are not made to do - like to be gentle and feminine without being pushed-over; to submit, love and be supportive without tolarating abuse - This was what changed my entire perspective and ultimately my life...
Because of the impact it has brought to my life, i am re-reading it over again now... and as i flip the pages... i start to think, a level deeper than i usually think...
Today, as i roam the streets of Seoul alone...i question what is my purpose in coming here? Of course, like everyone who knows me know - i am here because i want to experience going and living abroad on my own and since i have taken a special interest in Korean language, it's a perfect match to come here, study and experience at the same time (though the time span is short, it is all i can afford to do now - having commitments i cannot bear to put aside for too long)
This answer may satisfy many inquisitive ones, but it remains unsatisfactory to me because if i truly am satisfied with my own answer, i would not be asking the same question - "why am i here for?"
And today, it dawned upon me that perhaps i have been too busy working, busy keeping the house tidy, being the wife i think i should be, the daughter i think i should be, the friend i think i should be, the ideal employee i think i should be... and of course busy worrying about what tomorrow would bring, instead of trusting Abba.
Somehow i have forgotten who i am, other than who i think i should be and the roles i am obliged to fulfil.
In doing them, i have forgotten my purpose. Forgotten why i live my life the way i do.
Sub-consciously, i realised i came here to re-discover and identify who i really am and moving forward from there, what do i really want to do with my life?
One can never quite figure out oneself when constantly in the company of loved ones and a routined lifestyle.
One is bound to be influenced and shaped to believe that they are that somebody they think they are because of the environment and the "noises" that encircles their lifes and influence their thoughts.
More often than not, it causes one to identify oneself in that a certain manner only because they are in that certain circumstance, without that circumstance, who are they?
(E.G. Oh, I am Melissa, the one who does teambuilding programs? I am Melissa, Chanpeng's wife... I am Melissa, Johnny's daughter... etc...)
Does your identity stem from the things you possess, how people see you?
OR do you possess things and the views of others because of your identity?
If your identity is based on the former, then how dependable is that?
Because the things you possess and the opinions of others are likely to be temporal, inconsistent and subject to changes. When they change, so does your identity.
On the flip side, based on the latter, no matter how things change, and what others think, your identity will never change.
How do i possess that identity? Only 1 answer satisfies me- that is to identify yourself in Abba. He will never change, so is his love for me.
Apart from my husband, my family, my work, my friends and all the related obligations; apart from the kindof clothes i wear, the make-up i put on everyday... who really am i?
I am first, His beloved. And now, i just want to bask in this love and all instored for me and be sensitive to Him alone...