“Who am I?” That question is a pretty common one, especially in teenage years. We all have gone through, will go through and may even be going through it right now. We all have some kinds of questions from little to big that we want answered and we want to know. From being adopted and wondering why did our parents leave us in the first place to why am I not as smart as my friends? We all just want to know. Indeed, we all just want to fit in.
The reason why I titled this post ‘The Tip of the Iceberg: Who am I?’ is because we all want to know who we are and where we fit into the world. That is part of our identity crisis. I know people, even old friends that have tried to find themselves, discover who they are, while trying to fit in, to be one of many. Truth is, is that being yourself and trying to fit in at the same time poses challenges. Many challenges.
I really like the iceberg model, because generally on the surface all icebergs look similar. Being white, ice and they float. On the surface, there is little depth to them. They are all the same. But are they? Of course, you’ll be saying “no” as a teacher would be as a kindergarten class silently waits for the obvious answer to a question, but it’s true. Beneath the surface there is depth. Lot’s of depth. There is a secret world, a secret garden that only few can and have explored. People are no different. When we want to fit in, we make ourselves similar or the same to what we think we should be. What society thinks we should be. But even if we looked the same, talked the same, be the same, we can’t. We have all had experiences that are unique to ourselves, and by only developing the surface so much is lost and forgotten beneath.
There is so much more going on than we let on. Some people you could ask how they are doing, and they would grin and say fine (though their day was awful) while others would start bawling about how awful their day ways. Sometimes we do both, there is no right or wrong way to do it. The point of this excerpt is to explain the complexity of people. We are complex. We are people. No two people are the same (unless they’re like twins or something) but even so, no two people are exactly the same. We all have experienced life differently and in ways that are sometimes not comprehensible by others.
We are unique. So does it make sense that we all want to be like everyone else when we are all so unique? In a way yes, it does because that is something subconsciously programmed into us from a young age, but no as well. We all want to fit in, but we all want to be different, and that is, I think the best way to get by. Because you need to stay true to yourself too, you’re under the surface iceberg self, but you need to discover yourself at your own pace. So yes, if fitting in makes you comfortable now, then good I’m happy for you. But try to remember that you can be who you are and be unique and fit in, you just need to find the right balance, because in the end, it is you who answers the question ‘Who am I?’, just try not to lose yourself in the process. And try to remember that it is a who am ‘I’ question and not who are ‘we’.
Be who you are and nothing less.