• Daizha Lankford

The Identity Crisis: Losing Myself



I remember my first college label. At least the one that stuck with me the most.

“Daizha, you’re not the f*ckable type. You’re more of the wife type. When a guy looks at you they see that you’re adorable, not sexy. You’re stable, cautious, safe. That’s not a bad thing though”

This label stuck.

I think subconsciously, everyone that you meet has a label for you. It can start as little things. “The girl with the blonde curly hair”, “the tall guy with the blue backpack”, “that one guy in this organization”, “this one girl on the cheer team”.

All of these labels never seemed like a big deal to me because it was natural to identify someone by what they did, how they looked, or how they made me feel. However, I didn’t realize that labels and the perception of other people were impacting my thoughts about myself until I got to college.

See, sometimes those little labels can start to consume a person's self-image and it becomes more than a label… it becomes an identity.

Suddenly, I was surrounded by people who were identified by labels and liked it. It started to become easy to be proud of what someone labeled me as, instead of being proud of who I was as a person.

I started losing myself in titles, what people thought, and who I was around and to be transparent, I still find myself doing that. I am constantly having an identity crisis, and to embrace it, it all boils down to a few things:

Complete Stability in Who I am Will Constantly Be Changing. I will fall in love with who I am about fifty times in my lifetime, and each time I’ll be a different woman with similar qualities. I’m learning that, that is okay because I can finally embrace that I can’t lose myself completely if I haven’t discovered everything I am yet.

Caring What Other People Think Is Embedded Into Our Society, But It Doesn’t Have To Consume Me. I think most people don’t like to admit it, but apart of us will always want to be seen by others. Not necessarily for who we are, but for the image we’ve created for other’s to see. How can we not, when we literally live our lives for the world to see on every social media platform known to man. Whether we’re sharing it for the world to see or for ourselves, at the end of the day, social media is meant to be social. I’ve embraced that there’s a balance between sharing my life and creating an image of what my life is. I’m embracing that my life is not just a snapshot moment, but an entire history book worth of memories. Some things can be shared, and others are simply for me and those I surround myself with.

I Can Be Whatever I Want, Despite What People Label Me As. Whether I’m seen as adorable or sexy, nice or mean, popular or unpopular, a clout feen or an introvert, that has nothing to do with who I actually am. I am more than what I do, or who I hang out with. I am not just a terp, or the girl with the blonde curly hair, or the girl with the blog. I’m not a brand on Instagram or even the things I tweet. I’m just who I am, and who I want to be. That means I’m welcoming criticism from others, probably still feeling insecure at times at what people think of me, but overall clutching onto the mindset that yes, I’m adorable… but I’m the sexiest, adorable, wifeable girl you’ll ever meet.

My Core Identity Is Strong & It Shines Through. I’m constantly evolving and that’s a beautiful process; but there are some things in me that are rooted and grounded in my own essence. See, I think of people as trees. The branches may break, leaves may fall and change colors, and damage and growth may impact the tree, but the roots are always grounded. I’ve never felt more unsure about my life, but I’ve also never felt more grounded in who I am.

If you’re having an identity crisis, I think it’s a natural part of the college experience and life in general. We’re constantly searching to find ourselves and be complete, but we also have to enjoy the little parts of ourselves that come and go during that journey. Completion doesn't always mean that every puzzle piece is put together. It simply means that during the time when pieces are missing or interchanging, there’s a bigger picture waiting to be filled in. I embrace the identity crisis because in the end, losing myself is just the beginning of self-discovery.

Peace & Love, D

#college #selflove

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