Stop Searching for Yourself and Create Yourself
Decades ago, people went on pilgrimages to find themselves; in that quickly-changing world, individuals no longer suffered through the predefined status of their parents but had options as to what to do with their lives. Some traveled the world. Some sought wisdom in philosophy or poetry. Some searched the cosmos for the answer to life. For many, these quests were a search for self, for finding themselves. Young people searched as though their true inner selves were out there waiting to be chosen out of a pile of selves, well-clothed and ready to put on.
The Irony of Searching for Oneself
Although travel, learning, and spirituality are excellent paths to defining who we are, we never truly find ourselves but rather we create ourselves. As we walk around searching for what we already have in our hearts, a funny twist of irony occurs. We look to others, look to fashion and literature, art, music, and popular culture to figure out who we are, and yet we carry that person whole and intact within our hearts everywhere. And yet, we have all done it, at the very least to a small extent.
The Search or Journey for Self
Earlier in life, I spent a few years obsessed with vintage clothing. I would scour garage sales and vintage shops in search of my next fabulous find, which would bring me loads of compliments from everyone at school and work. After a year or two, the vintage glitter wore off and I switched to grunge. With loose Doc Martins and flannel shirts, I trudged around trying to fit into a self-image that didn’t suit me at all. After I gave up grunge, I moved into an urban Vogue girl-on-the-town which felt better overall. I kept that vision of self for years until my joints succumbed to the trials of wearing heels.
Throughout this journey, I was really searching for myself, searching for a self that I could put on like a new dress, fluff up, and wear like a badge of honor—a statement that I confidently knew who I was. Just like my parent’s generation who searched the world in hopes of finding themselves, I tried on a variety of selves to find me. And as luck would have it, none of those personas were me. I had to create myself rather than finding it ready made.
Think that no one creates a universe that matches their sense of self? Oh really . . . Well, take a look at the golfer grandma who wears her plaid golf skort and pink polo into public with her white visor. She exudes health in the later years, time spent in the sunshine, and an afternoon of Arnold Palmer iced teas. The world she creates around the golfer grandma persona is one of health, conservative fashion, and manners suitable for those activities.
Her clothes say, “I am taking care of myself and staying active. I like to get outside with friends for fun activities.” Her demeanor is polite and friendly. The whole picture matches for her because she has created for herself a personality that matches her needs, goals, class, and age.
Now imagine if one is not settled in a comfortable persona. The road to having 15 different styles in the closet, 10 different genres of books, and a half dozen different genres on the bookshelf all lead to an expensive and bewildering path of confusion. No wonder some people feel uncomfortable in their own skin. To be so scattered would lead a person to a state of overwhelm in no time at all. Best to get settled into a comfortable persona than to wander aimlessly.
Crafting Oneself through Creativity, Journaling, and Blogging
So, how does one set about to create a suitable persona for oneself that will fit well, work long term, and ease the anxiety of not feeling settled in one’s own skin?
The creative path of writing and reflecting can offer a useful avenue for assisting one to make the suitable connection and decide on a self to wear with confidence.
Reflect, journal, blog through your personal journey.
If you share blogs with readers, the journaling and reflecting steps may lead towards a valuable topic for blogging that can heighten reader engagement and deepen the connection readers have with your work.
Is this a blogging topic? Absolutely.
The search for self is a terrific topic for many bloggers, especially lifestyle, fashion, literature, and fandom bloggers, because it is an authentic story that many people can relate to. At some point in our lives, most of us have felt out of place or out of sync. To share one’s own journey through the search for personal definition can be wonderfully enlightening and empowering for oneself and others. For example, if I see that a person I look up to (a blogger I follow) has gone through a process of personal redefinition, my own experience of searching for self feels more validated, and I can learn from the steps she took on her path to defining who and what she is.
Journaling and Blogging through the Creative Process
If you journal now, start a new page or section in your journal and reflect on these questions:
Continue working in your journal.
Think back to which movies, books, fields of study, products, political issues, cultural aspects, and technologies stand out to you. You are well on your way to defining self in a way that could leave you more confident and give you an authentic tale for reaching out to others.
Paint & Ink—Journaling is Self-Care
As we walk our own paths, we have to take care of ourselves, and journaling is one way to achieve a sense of mindfulness and calm in an ever-changing world.
Journaling also provides a creative means for brainstorming, which is useful not only for self-care but for blogging and creative writing preparation.
As we seek to be the best selves that we can be and achieve our personal and professional goals, journaling provides a method for collecting the bricks we can use in our polished writing.
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