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Health and Wellness

But First, I Am Myself

I will always be a sister, a cousin, a friend, a granddaughter, and daughter, but first, I am myself.

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But First, I Am Myself
Amna Rustom

These days, I have been reflecting on what my identity means to me and how I continually choose to define myself. It was not until I intentionally sat down and became introspective about how I want to shape my own identity and how I want to portray myself to the rest of the world that I realized my thought process about this matter. I believe that oftentimes we identify ourselves by the way the rest of society views us. We may be mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, friends, aunts, cousins, etc., but I realized something about myself in the way that might be viewed as nonconventional... I want to be defined in my own terms. I want people to recognize my strengths and characteristics outside of my social identities.

Yes, I may be someone's sister or someone's significant other, but I do not want that to be the determining adjectives that you use to describe me. I want to be identified for my passions, personality traits, and my characteristics. Yes, relationships are simultaneously powerful and beautiful, and while I thoroughly enjoy being Ali's best friend, Limo and Yusif's sister, Najat and Elfatih's daughter, I also love my identity beyond that.

I am that curly haired, brown eyed girl who gets ever so passionate when she speaks (which is a lot.) I am the world-traveler, lover of people, service-minded, compassionate individual.

Yes, before everything else, I am an individual. The fear that I have for myself is that one day I will get wrapped up in the idea that I will only be viewed as a mother or as a wife. While these titles are incredibly meaningful, humans are not one-dimensional beings, and I do not feel as though we should be identified as such.

You can be a mother, a creator, an entrepreneur, and that is all okay. As we gain more candles on our birthday cakes, our minds grow, our perspectives alter, and we evolve who we are. Our identities evolve just as much as we do, and I think that that is the beauty of it all; we never have to stay stagnant and refuse to shift our ideas of ourselves. A quote I have come to love is by Socrates, where he states that "the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new."

This is a constant reminder that our growth and change are both essential and natural for our progression as humans. Tying this back into the idea of identity, I want to live my life in a way where I define myself and how I want others to view me. We get so caught up on labels and titles, but that is not what I want people to think of me for; I want the individual that I am to be the first thing they think of when they think of me.

I will always be a sister, a cousin, a friend, a granddaughter, and daughter, but first, I am myself.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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