When did you start to form an idea of who you were?

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  1. Volitans profile image67
    Volitansposted 10 years ago

    When did you start to form an idea of who you were?

    I've always been a pretty introspective person, so I started to form my own coherent self-identity pretty young. My older brother, on the other hand, spent so much time living up to our parents' expectations that I don't think he even tried to find out who he was until his late 20s. When did you start forming your own identity?

  2. SidKemp profile image81
    SidKempposted 10 years ago

    I already knew two key elements of my identity - that I wanted to end the suffering of the world without hurting anyone, and that I wanted to be a writer, were clearly in place when I was eight years old.

  3. Electro-Denizen profile image83
    Electro-Denizenposted 10 years ago

    When I was really really young, about 2.

    I remember so  much light and seeing the strangeness of everything around me, the restrictions and empty ideas humans had...

    And thinking... Wake up Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. wonderwriter11 profile image60
    wonderwriter11posted 10 years ago

    When I was around 15 or 16 years old. I was a high school freshman and I met my good friend plus I took a creative writing course. Two major things that really opened up my eyes. I like to refer to it as a psychological "enlightenment." My way of thinking was completely transformed and for the first time I saw the world in a different light. I explored everything I knew from several perspectives. There wasn't just one answer to any one thing. 
    Great question! Thanks for the flashback.

  5. jaredbangerter profile image81
    jaredbangerterposted 10 years ago

    I think that from the age we are born, we slowly start to gather information about who we are by judging the way the world around us treats us and reacts to us.  It would be hard to say an exact age where we suddenly discover ourselves, because I believe it's a life long process.  I'm 24 now and I'm sure I don't know myself now as well as I will when I am 48.

  6. Jewels profile image82
    Jewelsposted 10 years ago

    For me it's an ongoing process, and I'm not sure when I first thought I knew who I was.  Who I am is very clouded by determinisms and external influences from family, peers and authority figures.  I am a very introspective person, I always have been but not until I started shedding the conditioning could I see myself - the real me.  And this real me is still presenting itself.  A key element to understanding yourself is by looking at your reactions.  If these reactions form a large part of your reality, then this is not you, this is what you have been formed into.  If you can separate yourself out from the memes you are entwined in, then you can seriously understand the definition of yourself.  If you don't know what a meme is and don't see your interactions within one, then it's clear you are not yourself, but a perception of it.  There are family memes, corporate memes, sporting memes, to name a few.    It's a very good question to ask.

  7. lone77star profile image78
    lone77starposted 10 years ago

    Age 9 months.

    My mother yelled at me for not putting my toys away. I didn't understand most of what she said, but your gestures and tone were clear enough. It left quite an impression on me, but also made me critically self-aware. I was surprised, years later when I asked my mother about this and when it happened. I described the white shelves near the door, the bottom shelf of which was for my toys, and she told me 9 months old -- February, 1951.

    I had a couple of recurring dreams early on. I don't remember how early they started, but I'm certain I was having at least one of them by age 3. I had recurring dreams of flying. In that dream, I realized how easy it was to fly. It was as if I was awakening to an ancient wisdom. But later in the dream, I discovered my confidence slipping and I descended, losing my ability to fly. Below were hundreds of clutching claws, dark and glistening. Every time, I would wake up kicking my legs to get away from them. With these dreams, I learned a valuable lesson about faith and doubt.

    Also, at age 3, I had one of my most vivid memories. We were visiting my grandfather who was minister of a Southern Baptist church. I remember him speaking, but I remember more how my legs didn't like the pews; they cut off the circulation just above my ankles, if I sat back. And mom wouldn't let me put my feet on the seat. I was miserable. I was also distracted by a young, redhead in the choir.

    Later that evening, I remember seeing a film in the auxiliary building of the church. It was an advertising film for Shell Oil Company (after all, this was Texas). Then someone decided to run the film backwards. When the scene of the guy in the business suit jumping off the train ran backwards, everyone laughed, except me. Somehow, I felt electrified. Something in me woke up even more. I intuitively felt my relationship to creation itself.

  8. d.william profile image78
    d.williamposted 10 years ago

    Great question.  Everyone reaches their age of reasoning and self awareness at different times.  Generally around the age of 7 (+/-).  But with today's kids that age of awareness is much younger.  The age of enlightenment is gradual for some people, spontaneous for others and for some it never happens.  The greatest retardant to self awareness and enlightenment in our lives, is caused by the brainwashing done to children regarding their religious affiliations way before their age of reasoning.  This is adamantly denied by those who are indoctrinated, but quite true when we see the self assurance of adults who were not subjected to that emotionally confusing bombardment.  It would be interesting to know what kind of psychological influences Electro-Denizen underwent, to have reached his awareness at the age of 2.

    1. Volitans profile image67
      Volitansposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I know that religion was certainly something holding my brother back. We were members of a pretty strict church, and as the oldest he felt a very strong pressure to conform and set an example.

  9. msorensson profile image66
    msorenssonposted 10 years ago

    My own identity?....oh dear...What a challenging question...I do not know the answer.

    I know I am different from my brothers and sisters, I did not inherit any of the illnesses from either side of the family ..........

    My mother used to tell me when I was older..she said she thought I was exchanged at the hospital because when I was born I was very dark...but then again my father accompanied the nurse who took me to the nursery and waited until I was tagged so that would have been impossible..lol..at any rate, she told me that in jest as a form of endearment, and when I was seven years old during my birthday party, she also told me that when I was born, a thousand galaxies were born with me..that was pretty cool..

    All I remember when I was little was how loved I was..and how much I loved them..I  never thought of anything else..really..just a daughter to two loving parents..

    1. Volitans profile image67
      Volitansposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      What a great thing to tell a 7 year old!

  10. The Stages Of ME profile image82
    The Stages Of MEposted 10 years ago

    Great Question, I always felt driven to be a caregiver and therapist type and had an amazing career in this area.  Then in my late 30"s life changed and I was unable to do this work.  I admit there was an identity shift career wise, however, wife and mommy was now in place and so very rewarding.  From this experience I learned when life switches things up I must trust in God and His plan for my life.  Then everything becomes more clear and exciting.  Each day I learn a little bit more about who I am.  I also love learning about people.   Everyday when I meet someone new I learn a little bit more about myself.  Life is so very interesting when you wake up and say, " God what do you have in store for me today, and whom would you have me connect with.  Let's Go!"

  11. MarleneB profile image93
    MarleneBposted 10 years ago

    I was ten years old. Our school had a school-wide writing contest. The winner of the contest would be the student who wrote the best Christmas story. The judges were the school principal and office. While I didn't win the contest, I came in second place. I was told that the only reason my story did not win was because I didn't have a happy ending for my Christmas story. From that day forward, every story I wrote had a happy ending. I knew during and after that contest that I wanted to be a writer. It was fun coming up with the storyline and the characters. My story ended with this one kid (a bully) not getting a Christmas gift. Had I written the story where everyone, including the bad guy, was rewarded, I would have won. Bummer. But it put me on track to study and learn more about writing.

    1. Volitans profile image67
      Volitansposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting story, thanks for sharing! Personally, I'd have given you the win just for not going with the happy ending.

  12. bhaskardada profile image38
    bhaskardadaposted 10 years ago

    This is a very big question. To think about who am I, I mean my position with respect to the our society/mankind i.e. what will be my contribution towards the upliftment of mankind. Till now I think I am zero.

  13. profile image0
    HeatherDRobertsposted 10 years ago

    I started forming my own identity when I was twelve or thirteen. That was the time when I became very interested in philosophy and Occultism. Know what? There is a quote that I really like from Bjork that reads "It takes a long time to know who you are." I always liked that quote. I still don't know what or who I am. I am just screwing around in the universe just picking up ideas and growing into Heather every day. When I was in High School I lived at my parents house, every day I never did anything but read my books and practiced magic. Now I live alone in my own apartment and I am always doing something and going on my adventures. There is never a dull moment now. My life has changed so much since then.
    I became interested in Satanism as a philosophy because it speaks to me so deeply. There is always an animal within all of us, but there is always genius too. Satanism is pragmatic as its depth but it can also force the creative out of your soul, too. Satanism is a survivalist's praxis.
    Anyway I digress. I have a speck of who I am and sometimes its not pretty. Other times I am one of the greatest people in the planet. It depends on your perespective and how far you look at me. This reminds me of that Alanias Morrissette song, I am a Bitch, I am a Lover. I digress again.
    Anyway I would love to continue on our conversation.
    How did you form your identity?

    1. andrew savage profile image57
      andrew savageposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Do you think Satan will rule the world on 21 Dec 2012?

  14. Ericdierker profile image55
    Ericdierkerposted 10 years ago

    I just love this question. I am adopted into a 3rd gen German Family. I am youngest of six. My blood heritage is Irish and Italian. My best buddies growing up were Chinese, Navajo, Black, Mexican and Hopi. Hells bells and cocker shells I had no identity and every identity. I reckon my Vietnamese wife and half breed son don't really care that much, or maybe it is so confusing they figure it is stupid. The only thing I really identified with besides family, was being illigitimate. They do not even use that term anymore -- I hope.
    Our self is who we make it, from the first day to the last.

  15. Darrell Roberts profile image75
    Darrell Robertsposted 10 years ago

    I remember when I was about four of five when I use to attend the Christian Science Church. The idea was very simple, we were all the children of God.  No more to think about.  God has many children apparently some have good and peaceful qualities and others have bad and destructive qualities.  That is how simple it was for me when I was younger.  All we had to do was choose which side of the fence we wanted to play. 

    As I got older life just got more complicated with all these details and gray areas to think about.  Now I just stick with everyone is unique and special at the same time we are all God's children. Chant Hare Krishna and be happy.

    Best wishes.

  16. Phantomrose90 profile image61
    Phantomrose90posted 10 years ago

    To be honest, I started to form an idea of who I was when I was seventeen years old. By then, I was beginning to grow out of my sheltered shell, and started to experience outside of what my parents (mostly my mother) wished me to experience. I started to form my own ideas about my own beliefs, and started to follow my own path in life. To this day, I am still trying to find new bits and pieces about myself.

  17. CraigDesmarais profile image60
    CraigDesmaraisposted 10 years ago

    When I truly started to define who I was was when I first truly accepted Christ into my life.  From there I chose to seek the life that he had lain out for me since birth.

  18. JYG1982 profile image60
    JYG1982posted 10 years ago

    My dad taught us young to be ourselves and do what we choose.

  19. gmarquardt profile image80
    gmarquardtposted 10 years ago

    I had my "awakening" about the first day of college. Philosophy and history shook me out of my shell!

  20. mvillecat profile image68
    mvillecatposted 10 years ago

    I can remember the first forming of self around five. A little early but I have since learned through child development education that our character is formed between ages three and five.

  21. skgrao profile image69
    skgraoposted 10 years ago

    When I was told that a Astrologer at Nanjangud near Mysore India would tell what I was in my previous birth and how i would be in this birth I met I called him to my home and told him to tell not only mine but my entire dynasty he told looking at a palm leaf manuscript and I could not say anything as it was very convincing.

  22. krishnnaa profile image38
    krishnnaaposted 10 years ago

    Actually i have got this idea from theological books. I haven't face any other situations to think so. But after thinking about this seriously it was interesting

  23. Matthew Weese profile image60
    Matthew Weeseposted 10 years ago

    I started realizing who i was when I was in grade school, due to the fact of so many stereotypes in the era of my youth.

  24. Rebecca2904 profile image69
    Rebecca2904posted 10 years ago

    Great question! I think that everyone has an idea of who they are, even small children, it's just that the idea is fluid and might change over time. I think that there are many times in life when we change fundamentally, and that someone's idea of who they are is not something that can ever be fixed. For example when someone becomes a parent it's quite likely that they'll change, they'll become more patient, understanding and selfless. I think that milestones like that will always change a person quite drastically, but there are also other smaller things that might make a person question who they are, for example if someone says something to you, or even if you read a book that has a powerful message.


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