The question of who we are probably yields more questions than answers. I, myself just received more revealing news of who I am via ancestry DNA and while the excitement is abundant, the various inquiries inevitably ensued. It doesn’t help, that the face that I see in the mirror does not match my new information. Yet, I want to embrace it. I have always longed for a global connection. In my opinion, knowledge of this sort reveals that we are made up of many lives. We are not just one person, but many.
When we are young, the timing of the question of who we are typically begins in middle school. We are surrounded by our peers and the social constructs that are manipulated around us having us wondering where do we fit in? In my day, (geez, I sound old), there were cliques. I believe it was jocks, cheerleaders, goths/emo, preps, band geeks, thugs, and nerds. Where you fit in, essentially depended on your style. One could spot the other a mile away. As for myself, I never really fit in to any of these groups. I wasn’t into cheerleading, I didn’t engage in a sport or band, I wasn’t a thug, goth or nerd. I think I was mostly an outcast. In middle school being an outcast can be a difficult time. Most suicides occur during middle school life due to the social witch trials that occur when one does not have a clique to protect them. It is kind of like being in gang that way. No protection, no survival.
As we age we seem to progress into our own definition of who we are based on our experiences, and those we choose to surround ourselves. This definition of ourselves that we both consciously and subconsciously seek lapses into our friendships, our partners, our children and most typically our careers. We often need the ability to serve a purpose. Our careers make this possible. Someone will ask you who you are. You might respond, “I’m a doctor, teacher, social worker,” etc. Careers defines us and makes us feel as if we belong. We finally found our “clique.”
Additionally, sideline attempts are made at self-discovery. We may engage in personality tests, career typologies, love language quizzes etc. These are often utilized to either confirm or inform areas of ourselves that we may or may not be aware. Ancestry research typically comes last and is only a mere curiosity. However, just like the not so subtle words of “you are the father,” having the information on paper to confirm in percentages who we are is immortal. You are now defined.
Just as I found, the information therein tells us that we are connected to cultures around the world. It tells us that we are not alone. That we are a part of something much bigger than just a “clique.”It informs us that we belong. It informed me that I belong. That I am not an outcast. I think that who we are is an ongoing opportunity to redefine ourselves and to reevaluate our culture. It allows for self-awareness and self-discovery. Does it mean our definition of who we are has to change? Of course not. Does it mean that it might? Without question.