The Search for Identity


How many times have you woken up and felt that you are in a stranger’s body? For me, it is countless. Sometimes I interact with my workmates and friends, and I become the happiest person in the building, but sometimes I am the silent one in the room. However, when I get home at the end of the day, I feel myself automatically and gradually shifting into a different yet familiar person. I realized that I display two different personalities. The most dominant one is the polite, silent, and submissive one, which appears when I am dealing with unfamiliar or wary situations while the other one is the wild and jovial one. This personality appears when in the most comfortable spaces, and it is the most dominant one on social media. The interesting part is that most of the new people I meet in my life make early conclusions before they get to know me well. However, could they be right? What I accurately know is that I frequently feel as if I am losing myself because of the self-identity crisis. This situation has cultivated doubt that occasionally makes me jumpy and messy. I believe the needs of my logic and emotions are misaligned. My mind knows the right things to do and the moves to make, but my morale is sometimes absent when it is time to execute them. 

The biggest challenge I face as a result of this condition is not only the fear of disappointing others but also the fear of disappointing myself as a consequence of my unstable actions. What then is the solution? I believe I need to strengthen the connection between my thoughts and feelings to create an opportunity for them to integrate and solve my identity crisis. Schools and families offer pathways for developing an individual’s self-identity through education, socialization, rewards, and punishment. However, they lack ways of helping people deal with their struggles based on objective truth. The Kenyan society has many teenagers and youth who have been confused by the education and social system for years, to the point where they have literarily lost themselves mentally and emotionally. 

The Certified Training Program, under the World Youth Alliance, offered me a sense of direction regarding how to deal with my struggles and find my inner peace. According to Charles Malik’s excerpt, “Man in the Struggle for Peace,” for you to create lasting peace with others, you have to first create it within yourself by grounding it in the truth. It starts by recognizing the state and nature of your struggles. This process helps integrate and align feelings and logic. However, is this practice enough to achieve inner peace? According to Mahatma Gandhi, everyone has their path to finding the objective truth. Therefore, my search for identity depends on finding my path to inner peace while recognizing the objective truth. Ask yourself, how do you want to deal with your inner struggles?

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Written by Marvin Abuor, a WYA Africa intern from Nairobi, Kenya

You can apply for the Africa regional internship on the website. Applications for Batch 2 2022 are now open.


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