Every time I scroll through my Facebook feed or turn on the news, I am blown away by the steady poison of identity crisis that has seemed to engulf today's culture. From ultra-nationalism to finding a niche sexuality to identify with, everyone is gripped by the fear of "not fitting in." Publishers like Buzzfeed or even Odyssey take advantage of this need to be a part of something larger, so they as a corporation can come across as more "relatable," sometimes even lowering the point of connection to something as trivial as, "Struggles All Short Girls Know To Be True," or "Even Problems Every College Student Has In April." There's no problem in finding a characteristic that you and other people have in common to bond over, but there is an increasing number of individuals who go through some crisis that calls into question one aspect of themselves, and they completely fall apart. For instance, a lot of people find their identity and comfort in singing, especially in a choir. However, if someone who has been singing all her life were to develop lymph nodes (heaven forbid), it would be very likely that she would completely fall apart into depression or serious self-questioning, rather than realizing that there are so many other parts of her that are just as important and worth developing.
We are a culture of specialization: niche is king. On a national scale, things like race and gender and profession divide us, when in fact, we are deeper and more complex than the labels we find comfort in.
I am more than my gender. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is not, “How should I, as a woman, go about my day?” I am just me, and I happen to be a woman. Additionally, if I enjoy conforming to some social norms that culture feels that “woman” should have, I can embrace those things. However, if I don’t feel that those norms of “woman” accurately reflect who I am, that does not make me any less “woman.”
I just happen to be white. While I experience obvious cultural differences because of the melanin in my skin, that doesn’t mean my whole identity and everything I am is contained in the color of my skin and the culture I come from. I am more than that one aspect.
I am more than “anxiety-haver.” This one part of how I respond to things, but it is not everything I am, and hopefully, it will no longer be a part of me one day. I am more than this.
I am more than “millennial.” I will not find all of my identity in this generation of individuals, and the way we have chosen to express ourselves. No matter how much I love Ethiopian coffee and vintage record players, the hipster subculture will not give me complete knowledge of who I am.
In fact, there is only one characteristic that defines me, and will not eventually prove to be false, and it’s because someone else is telling me who and Whose I am: chosen and loved by Christ. That is the only true place I can put all of my identity.