People often have this congruence that everyone will, or has had a phase in their life where they’re figuring out who they are and what their purpose is. In reality, we’ve already had many of these, and will mostly likely have many of these in the future too. At the age of 11 I tried to figure out if I was the girly girl who cared about being popular and liked the color pink, or the girl who didn’t really care about that sort of stuff. At the age of 15 I self-identified as a hardcore metal fan who was specifically into melodic death metal but was “open to progressive metal I guess….” At the age of 17 I wore dresses a lot and listened to a lot of jazz and assumed the image of someone who was generally quite girly yet plain on the outside. At the age of 18 I was dropped off at university and had absolutely no idea who I was and what I really wanted to do. At the age of 19 I immersed myself into numerous hobbies and formed meaningless relationships with people in attempt to fill a void I didn’t know I had, and changed my major because I had decided that what I was doing wasn’t for me anymore.
Currently, I can finally be confident in saying that I have began creating myself, but often find myself starting over once in a while and pressing the reset button because I doubt my commitment to projects, ideas, and paths that I have chosen for myself. Often the process of realizing that you’re unsure of who you are ends with you realizing that you’re actually an experiment. You’re a malleable and very changeable human being that has many interests and many desires and many goals in life that you just aren’t aware of yet.
Just like many things, creating yourself is a trial and error of sorts. Like how writing an essay requires a head-first approach, which then ends up turning into a couple of drafts which need editing. Like how you see something you like at a store and have to try it on before you decide to purchase it. Like how there are some foods you’ve never tried before but you won’t know what they taste like until you actually eat it.
There is also that ridiculous Peter Pan Syndrome that many seem to have nowadays. Some people use travel selfishly – as an excuse and as a tool rather than as a way to immerse themselves in other cultures, and gain knowledge about other people. This unattached and non-committed approach is a flimsy attempt to create yourself – in essence this is why I did not use the statement “finding yourself“, as it shuns out the very idea that people tend to ignore – and that is the sheer fact that you are able to create who you are going to be as an act of choice, and not find yourself as a matter of chance.