idolization & the self

 
 

ABBY STRANGWARD

A lot of this is actually straight out of a journal entry from a little while ago. I scribbled it down at about 2 am in semi-darkness, a pair of jeans thrown over my lamp to soften the light. I’ve tried to connect my disjointed thoughts as best I could, and I hope I’ve created something tangible, something that aids an exploration into yourself. 

 

Inevitably, I’ve reached a point where I’m struggling with the idea of identity. What is my identity, and how can I define it?

I’m in a time of tumultuous change in my life. Starting a new year at school has removed me from the class and friends I’ve known for two years, and thrown me somewhere where I feel quite stranded and a little lonely. Re-adjusting is hard – I’m not really coping with the change well, and holding very tightly to the past, which has actually surprised me. A lot of things are shifting in my mind, and I feel different every day I wake up.

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I’ve been turning to a lot of art and a lot of inspiring people to kind of keep pressing forward. But it’s reaching this point where I’m putting these people on a high pedestal and idolizing them unhealthily. I’m losing touch with myself. I’m comparing my own life to perfected, filtered lives as shown on social media. I’m comparing myself to people nearly a decade older. I’m comparing my personality to theirs, my art to theirs, my decisions to theirs. 

I’m losing sight of myself. I’m finding it difficult not to emanate them through my forms of creativity, difficult to have trust in myself, and difficult to find satisfaction in what I have and am doing. I’m so obsessed that I can’t be sure where myself begins and they end anymore.This has lead me to try and take a step back and re-examine myself. Get to know myself again. I’ve been spending more time alone. Journaling. Filming. Writing. Reading. Eating. Singing. Painting. Shutting off my paths of social media and trying new things. Already, I think I feel myself shifting again. To a place where I can view others online more critically. Myself with more wholeness.Right now, I think there’s a huge pressure to ‘find yourself’. I was just recently watching an interview with someone (I can’t remember who, unfortunately), where she talked about finding yourself as the most important first step to begin creating authentically. I disagree. Find myself? I don’t think there’s anything to find. I don’t think there’s any definition of the self that can be put in to any language, any thought, any idea. What are you looking for, when you ‘search’ for yourself? A word? A feeling? Something you can sum up and convey to another person? We are so incredibly complex. How can you truly sum yourself up? 

 

I’ve been turning to a lot of art and a lot of inspiring people to kind of keep pressing forward. But it’s reaching this point where I’m putting these people on a high pedestal and idolizing them unhealthily. I’m losing touch with myself. I’m comparing my own life to perfected, filtered lives as shown on social media. I’m comparing myself to people nearly a decade older. I’m comparing my personality to theirs, my art to theirs, my decisions to theirs. 

I’m losing sight of myself. I’m finding it difficult not to emanate them through my forms of creativity, difficult to have trust in myself, and difficult to find satisfaction in what I have and am doing. I’m so obsessed that I can’t be sure where myself begins and they end anymore.This has lead me to try and take a step back and re-examine myself. Get to know myself again. I’ve been spending more time alone. Journaling. Filming. Writing. Reading. Eating. Singing. Painting. Shutting off my paths of social media and trying new things. Already, I think I feel myself shifting again. To a place where I can view others online more critically. Myself with more wholeness.Right now, I think there’s a huge pressure to ‘find yourself’. I was just recently watching an interview with someone (I can’t remember who, unfortunately), where she talked about finding yourself as the most important first step to begin creating authentically. I disagree. Find myself? I don’t think there’s anything to find. I don’t think there’s any definition of the self that can be put in to any language, any thought, any idea. What are you looking for, when you ‘search’ for yourself? A word? A feeling? Something you can sum up and convey to another person? We are so incredibly complex. How can you truly sum yourself up? 

 

abby strangward