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Who am I to say who I am?

Photo courtesy of Isa Lu

As a society, we’re often prone to label others based on first impressions alone, even though people know that we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But unconsciously, people do it anyways; many of my friends have confessed that for them, book covers play a huge role in deciding which book to read.

I admit that, like others, I’m not completely immune from this habit, though I always try to not judge someone or something too quickly. Is this tendency nature or nurture? Fixable or unfixable? But the real question is—who am I to label others when I can’t even properly label myself?

Am I experiencing an identity crisis? Maybe. I believe that, as human beings, almost everyone will probably at some point in their lives question their own identity. Personally, I like to think of it more as “exploring” and “investigating.”

So, who am I? I don’t know for sure. Am I an extrovert or an introvert? I guess I’m more of an introvert, but I do have some extrovert moments once in a while. Am I a cat person or a dog person? What nationality am I really? Which group do I even belong to? This is when I begin to realize that sometimes I just can’t be completely one or the other.

If even I don’t really know myself that well after so many years, how can others claim that they know who I am after a mere first impression? That’s why this whole habit of labeling someone doesn’t really make much sense.

I think as humans we put too much pressure on ourselves. Look at birds, for example. They spend their days gliding between branches, looking for nuts, and enjoying life as it is. Do they worry about identity like we do? Do they overcomplicate things like we do? I certainly think not.

Maybe one day we’ll be able to live simply and be completely carefree. But until that day comes, I want to reserve my judgements on both myself and other people—because I know just how inaccurate they can be.

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