By J1 Reporter Jasmine Buttler
When you hear the words “discovering your true identity,” you probably think of hippies from the 60s preaching in a circle while holding hands, singing songs, and playing drums or bongos while tripping on LSD and other psychedelics.
However, contrary to this belief, your personal identity is more than just some theory made up by a philosopher in the Greek ages.
It shapes everything about you. Your values, beliefs, interests, goals, and dreams all lead back to your personal identity. And whether you like it or not, people don’t have the freedom to choose their personalities, it’s already laid out for you by your life experiences and choices. When you look deeper into who you are, you can see that everyone has something different about their identity that makes them unique, but you can also find qualities in others that you can relate to yourself. Yes, even teachers and students can find common ground and understand where the other is coming from.
So, before anyone cringes or rolls their eyes at the statement of “finding yourself” or “self discovery,” take the time to read this story and realize that people have spent their entire lives searching for who they truly are and some are still on that journey.
“Oh, gosh, I hate these types of questions, why did I agree to this?” laughs Marian math teacher Mrs. Lisa Schmidt.
Answering questions about your identity can be confusing and hard to put into words, especially when put on the spot. When asked what encompasses her own identity, a student in the background shouts, “Her relatability!” Along with her relatability, important aspects of Schmidt’s personality are her family, faith, and patience.
“I think that every person you meet impacts your life in some way or another,” Schmidt said.
Even though Schmidt doesn’t have a huge life-defining moment that impacted her forever, she sees the impact that everyday interactions with people, good or bad, have on her life. She believes that while the main aspects of your personality may stay the same, small things may change due to your life experiences. “I think that you grow up and some things change, but some things stay the same, too. You have new experiences and they can change your outlook on life.”
“I’m definitely more of an introvert,” Schmidt said. “I’ve always been a more quiet person.”
As a child, she got in trouble at school for being too loud and rowdy. However, even though her personality transitioned from extrovert to introvert as the years went on, Schmidt wouldn’t want to be any other way. In high school, she wished that she talked more or was more confident and extroverted like some of the other girls in her class. She tried to change and be that type of person by trying to be louder and more outgoing, but she didn’t really feel like herself anymore. “I think if you live authentically to yourself you will be happy,” she said. After attempts of trying to change who she was and how she acted, Schmidt realized that it was better to not hide who you truly are and embrace it.
She ended with some words of advice that are beneficial to everyone: “It’s better to be yourself than to live with different masks on every day.”