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I feel very deeply honored and privileged to give the keynote address for this event, given the many impressive achievements of my peers both here on the panel and in the audience.
Just when you think you know who you are, or have figured out your place in the world, things change and you find yourself back at square one.
Studying away from home is highly challenging: How do you confront a roommate that steals your belongings? How do you negotiate between your educational, social and personal needs? How do you survive in an environment where knowing who you are is crucial to selecting the right classes, friends, job opportunities and overall direction in life?
Part of the great thing about going to university is that perceived mistakes can teach you important things about yourself and life in general.
Understanding your identity, seeking out opportunities that refine your identity and maximizing upon the uniqueness of your identity can lead to positive outcomes throughout your university and post-university life.
Every now and again I have this epiphany. Sometimes this journey is a few minutes long, but sometimes these epiphanies evolve into epic journeys. It was one such epiphany, coupled with a cheap plane ticket that led me to spend a weekend in Istanbul.
The one thing you should never do when visiting Istanbul is go alone, particularly as a female.
Not knowing this crucial piece of information, I went to Istanbul alone, on a quest to discover my identity but I ended up becoming very skilled in the art of rejecting marriage proposals. My grand quest was doomed to fail from the start for several key reasons: A greater understanding of your identity is dependent on interactions with other people in real world contexts as this best represents the reality in which we live.
There are many factors that contribute to the formation of your identity. Some of these factors are genetic, some only emerge in specific situations, whilst others require patience to perceive and understand.
Thus, a weekend trip to Istanbul did not offer enough time or the right environment for the complex nature of my identity to be fully understood. Seeing as your identity is built up over time, it is important to give yourself the time and space to meditate upon what really makes you tick.
I soon reevaluated that decision in light of the fact that I actually did not enjoy taking science classes and I was rather bad at conducting experiments.
I would be that person who was first to come in and set up, but last to leave, and with results that completely undermined the hypothesis. I think the only way that I did well was by writing very elaborate justifications to explain my unexpected results, and by being very strategic in selecting my lab partner.
One thing that remains with me today from those science classes, is the notion of the scientific method — the idea that new knowledge of the world can be gained through experimentation and observable results. Similarly by observing the decisions that you make and your reactions to events, it is possible to construct an accurate idea of your identity.
Some people choose to write journals, or blog or maintain active profiles on social media sites; the sum of all this data is really useful in understanding who you are, as well as who you project yourself to be to your family, peers and the wider public.
This fuller understanding permits you to work on aspects of your identity and develop interests or characteristics that really define who you are.
Sometimes this refining of self can lead you outside your comfort zone, but think of yourself as a piece of gold. Without going through an intensive purification process, it is impossible to get high quality gold. So also, without deepening your experience of the world, it is difficult to allow yourself to grow into the person that you want to be.
Understanding your identity and refining that identity are processes that go on indefinitely. There is no finishing line or timestamp or expiry date by which you must have finished discovering yourself. The beauty of this whole process is that you have countless opportunities to influence the development of your unique self and get the most out of life.
The formation of your identity is not a neutral process. Think of yourself like a rare gem, formed over centuries of pressure.
Your identity emerges from years of decision-making and interactions with others. Albert Camus, the influential philosopher, famously stated:Discovering our identity is a challenging journey.
Identity is never static. Everyone struggles with their identity. We can lose our identity and belonging when our environment changes. We possess multiple identities when placed in different situations. Additional Reading. This is a challenge that had been made by various problems that hones our personality and our life’s point of view.
By accepting that these things are part of the life of human society, we will be able to understand more the things that we don’t understand before. What was most challenging? Exercise 2: Our Identity and The Bible.
As we talk about identity, it is integral to remember that it is not all nebulous. Some of our identities are clearly laid out in the Scriptures. Spend some time this week reflecting on those identities. Discovering Your Identity & Calling: Part 1. Discovering our identity come from learning about our heritage, engaging with different people who shape and mould us as individuals and our religion.
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Discovering Our Identity. Posted by Danielle Street on Jan 19, in Blog Maturity growth involves treasuring both our relationship with God and others.
However, while we cherish our relationships with people, I’ve learned we must remember our deepest needs will be met in Christ. As we become more passionate about Christ, we will.