Ask GRLZ: How Do I Find My Identity? Response by Jayla Amado

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This week we have some advice for Amirah* who wants to know how to find herself, her true identity, during a time in her life when she has so many influences. Which way does she go? This week's Ask GRLZ correspondent is Jayla!

Dear GRLZ,

I'm having a really tough time with life. It just feels like my parents are pulling me in one direction and the people I know from school, my friends, are pulling me in another. They both want me to be what makes them most comfortable and I don't know what I want anymore. With all of these influences, I'm losing myself and I feel like I'm letting everybody down. I just feel like I don't know me! What do I do?

‘Patience is key’

Nobody is perfect, no life can be perfectly planned out. You can expect to be one way and as things happen, slip-ups come along, and you can change. As people, we make mistakes and we change constantly. We learn things and we suffer consequences. Our thoughts and actions and surroundings make us who we are. You need to have patience with yourself and trust that you will become a person you can be proud of. If you fall off, you can work your way back. Who you are is okay, as long as it’s who you want to be. We have to give ourselves time to heal or go through whatever we need to at the moment to find ourselves. Remember your goals, and dreams and your purpose, and don’t let anyone try to take it from you because it’s YOURS. Here are some tips for remaining true to yourself during rough times.

  1. Always make time for yourself. It’s okay to want things for, and to give to yourself because worrying so much about everyone else’s needs will leave you stuck not knowing what YOU need. And, sometimes its hard to understand that what we need is important too!

  2. “You are what you love, not who loves you” Do what you love!! It’s your life and you only get to live it once. Ask yourself this: do you want to live to please others and live with regrets, or live for yourself and live with happiness?

  3. Be your own person. Just because everyone else is doing it, that doesn’t mean you have to. Originality sticks out and inspires everyone around you to be a person who does their own thing, too! Trust me you’ll inspire.

  4. Lastly, any forms of expression will help you in your time of need. When you're confused try painting or exploring colors. When your feeling stuck and upset, try writing. Your expression is the first step in letting yourself out of the box and learning who you are because you are more than meets the eye. You just have to get in touch with that person.