Personal Identity

I was sitting at work yesterday. In my little bubble. Feeling disconnected from everything around me. Just floating. I’m a teacher, for those catching up. Doing casual relief work while completing a Grad Dip in Psychology at university.

And it suddenly dawned on me that I hated being there. It was then I further realised that I am definitely not a teacher anymore! I have moved away from that profession and I’ve started my transition to a new one. It shocked me a little. I felt lost. Like I was nothing and no one. I was in limbo. I realised that my whole identity had been tied to my career – I was a teacher. Nothing else. That was how I defined myself, albeit subconsciously. I tried to think of what I was now. I’m a student. But it didn’t feel like a good ‘fit’ as a mature aged student. I’ve been a ‘real’ student, at the appropriate time in one’s life. I guess nowadays there is no ‘appropriate’ time to be a student, but for some reason I identify with the student time being straight from high school, or a year or two out. If that makes sense……

I need to sit down and redefine myself. Or just remain in limbo until I sort out this career stuff. That might be the better route. For now.  Its a bit scary and confronting. I had no idea I had so much of ‘me’ tied to my job. Not healthy.

At present, I’ve been learning about social development and identity formation in children and adolescents in one of my uni subjects. It has really resonated with me. I can see the need to adequately form an identity at that age and move forward with life. I will have to do some further leaning, but I’m wondering if I didn’t forge my personal identity when I was younger for one reason or another – is that why I’m having these issues now? I look at Erikson’s psychosocial stages and there are a few I’m not sure I have passed through. For those of you who are aware of Erikson, you’ll know what I’m on about. For those of you who have no idea, he is a theorist who believes we all have stages we pass through in our lives and obstacles to overcome in each stage in order to resolve that stage and move on to the next. The stage I’m referring to is identity versus role confusion, which typically occurs 13-19 years of age. This then leads on into the next stage of intimacy versus isolation. We tend to pass through each stage independently and at our own time but there are a lot of factors influencing the successful progression. If one stage is missed or not resolved, this can lead to issues and problems in the next stage.

Perhaps Im just fucked hahaha Overthinking entirely too much. But at least I’m thinking I suppose.

But anyway, the journey continues. Ugh. I hate the word journey. Can someone come up with a suggestion for my ‘journey’ – I need a new name to call it.

5 thoughts on “Personal Identity

  1. Fen

    You don’t need to label yourself as anything, you are YOU, made up of all sorts of wonderful aspects. Your job is just one of them. I don’t tend to define myself by my job anymore. As much as I love what I do, it’s not me and it’s always a work in process. When you get into the field I’m in and you’re entering, you never ever stop learning.

    1. remembertopause Post author

      Thanks 🙂 Yeah I dunno its just weird. Ive never thought about how I define myself at all, and found that a lot of it happened to be tied to my career. Anyway, in the midst of huge learning curve 🙂 Guess this is something else to figure out!


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