Hold on to your hairpins my lovelies, we are about to embark on the topic of identity crisis. My parents are from the Baby Boomer generation, who taught me that if you did not conform to the norm, than you were the outcast, the black sheep, or the red-headed step child. Oddly enough, I am a red head. So, I suppose that was fitting. I have never been a conformist, and I have always walked to the beat of my own drum. Looking back to the ridicule of my day, I am consumed by the idea that my parents lived through, free love, burning bras, rock-n-roll, and the drug era. My mom, not so much, but my dad was a sure thing on this subject. They were the epitome of opposites attracting. Go figure.
That begs the question, how in the world would 60’s young adults, and 70’s teens, discuss a hot topic such as identity, or the crisis in which they believe it to dwell? Once I became a parent I considered the topic more and more. However, I was still of the belief that empowering my children to become whoever they chose, was the best way to parent. To this day I still cannot comprehend the ideal in conformity because, who wants to be put in an identity box? Once I became a grandparent, and thought my opinion might change up a bit on the subject matter, but it did not. I still cannot understand it. My belief is, that people should strive to be an original, an individual with the power of independent thought, and always be a leader, not a herd animal.
My three eldest adult daughters have all had their fair share of hair color variety, opinions, make-up choices, attitude, as well as tattoos. I do not define my kids by their hair color, or their tats. I tell them daily, that their ethics, morality, and character are true definitions of their persona. Are you a good citizen, do you contribute in charity and to worthwhile motivations within our society, and do you have empathy for those who require it? As a grandma, I have enjoyed seeing my grandkids learn that their aunt’s hair is beautiful in any color she chooses, and watch them ponder the newest tattoo on their family members. These should be taboo subjects of our past, chiseled into a history page somewhere, where the scowling eye has no place.
What I have found interesting is that, in our current and quite liberal society, there are still those who think less of our youth because, of their brandings. We have all made poor choices and perhaps have one or two tats or piercing we regret, but how does that differ from a picture of someone in the 60-70’s burning bras and protesting, or worse yet, racism. Oppression comes in many forms, but in 2019, I would hope we can get past and through it in better ways than our history has seen prior.
These are the wishes I have for my grandchildren:
1. No matter what identity you chose:
1. Own it with pride and solidify your place in society by reinforcing your character.
2. Wear it with confidence, not allowing anyone’s judgement or opinions to matter to you more than your own.
3. Stand up for yourself and your basic human right to choose.
2. Your hair style and color only define how you identify in that moment, not who you chose to become ten years from the current, so:
1. Embrace who you feel you must advertise yourself to be on the outside, while surprising folks with who you are on the inside.
2. Encourage others to see that their perception of you is not your reality.
3. Do not allow an uncolorful and narrow minded person to impose their lackluster ideals of appearance onto you. Instead, project positive and loving vibes back their way, while proving them unworthy of your momentary consideration.
3. If you choose body modification:
1. Do it in style and with acknowledgement that this is for you and only you.
2. Do it with meaning and allow others the option of understanding that meaning. Be prepared to discuss your modifications and their story for greater interpretation. Tell it with a gleaming light of deflection, so that your story touches the hearts of many, and may one day change harsh discrimination to firm acceptance.
3. Never do it for vanity, but rather self-awareness and humility.
4. Always be an independent thinker with the ability to collaborate new ideas with others, as:
1. More minds are better than one.
2. Multiple brains put together, equals one step closer to a greater cognisance of one and other.
3. Being a leader and a partner are always better than standing in the shadows of another’s thoughts and subjective perceptions.
4. Being an objectively offensive thinker makes you challenge other people to become better versions of themselves, including you.
5. No matter what your outward appearance is:
1. You should always give back and pay it forward. If you are blessed, than give back your blessings ten-fold.
2. You must require yourself to engage in civil service to society. This is a valuable commodity, which ceases more each day. When you do your civil duties, you impress upon the world that identity is flawed in many ways, but identity in character has value forgotten.
3. Always remember who you are, never settle for less than you want to be, and do not stumble in the valleys of other’s ideals that do not align with your own.
4. Stay true to your ambitions without becoming greedy. There is a level of truth in morality and ethics that rise above outward appearance and are at the root of your identity.
Always ensure that you build the foundation of your character through hard work. Rise above, not allowing people to make you feel like a victim of their choice in identity for you. Be your own person and follow your own path. Do what makes you happy without fear, or hurting others while finding contentment. You are only bound to the identity that you impress upon the world, and even this is ever changing as you grow as an individual. These are all the ways in which identity is not a crisis, but rather a learning and development tool, disguised as mischief and chaos of the mind. Be who you want to be, learn from it, grow around and out of it, and become that amazing you that only you can be.