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Thursday 17 January 2019


In typical Kassi style, I've been thinking a lot about 'identity' recently and what it means for each of us. Settle in kids, this is gonna be a long'un (trust me).

The backstory: perhaps I was two years late to the party but, at the end of last summer, I started listening to Ingrid Nilsen and Catirific's podcast 'Ladies Who Lunch'. Long story short, I fell head over heels for the duo. Combining that with my recent revelation that I fit into the INFJ personality type (I can finally understand what everybody's been talking about for the past few years), I've been forced to reassess how I look at the concept of 'identity'.

I've always thought of myself as a bit of an oxymoron. I would say that I'm quite shy and reserved, yet I'm also one of the loudest people you'll ever meet. I can become lonely fairly quickly in the absence of other people, yet I'm often happiest when left to my own devices. I side with the 'live to eat' mantra (food = life), yet I'm actually a fussy eater. I remember when it dawned on me that I'm fairly introverted back in 2014 and it was something that I despised. Not long after, however, I came to realise I love being an introvert – so much so that I wrote an entire blog post all about it.

A few years down the line, I would say that I am still very much an introvert (if not even more so), and I still very much love that part of my personality – no matter the aggro it sometimes causes me. Despite that, I've definitely learnt a few new things about myself that I often consider to be strange or perceived to be negative by the people around me. But do you know what helped me to feel okay about that? The wise words of a certain Ingrid Nilsen: "Your journey is not for other people; it's for you. Your identity is for you." I'm almost-definitely-absolutely-without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt-and-other-synonyms guilty of caring about what others think... but she's absolutely right. Your worth doesn't stem from what others think of you, because you're not here for them. Your worth doesn't stem from your relation to other people, because you're not here for them. You're here for you and you alone, period.

And with that, I've come to accept the parts of my identity that others might not be fond of or understand. I've noticed that I tend to mould myself to the people around me, that I'm a different version of myself around different people. Got a particularly confident personality? The sassy part of me will come out to play. Lean more on the quiet side? My awkward-come-withdrawn self will be happy to meet you. I doubt myself a hecka lot, which is something that I need to outgrow, and yet I can be overwhelmingly stubborn – it all depends on who I'm talking to. I may be an oxymoron, but that's okay (it's my favourite word for a reason, after all).

And the physical parts of my identity? I feel most me when I'm brunette. Gaining weight has made me re-evaluate my (in)securities but has also made me realise how strongly I feel about body positivism – every cloud, eh? The clothes that I wear on a day-to-day basis have a serious impact on my mood and comfortability levels. I have a lisp, yes, but others don't seem to notice that until I point it out. Ask for my name only to repeat 'Kathy?' back to me? (*Cough* Starbucks *cough*) I'm just going to say yes – the alternative is much more taxing.

(I know it's easier said than done but) who cares if someone you walk past thinks your outfit is slightly strange? Who cares if that person in your office thinks you're a bit of a pushover? And who cares if a family member or friend doesn't share all of the same beliefs that you do? At the end of the day, I'm just gonna do me – and I strongly encourage you to just do you, too. And don't look back.

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