finding your own identity

I feel like over the years, I’ve kind of lost my personality a little bit. It started when my best friend died when we were 15 which I know I’ve already spoken about before so I won’t go into it again, but basically she was my other half – half of my personality was me, the other half was made up from her. When she died I lost half of me, I completely lost my way and basically turned into a ghost of who I used to be, I didn’t know who I was without her. No pun intended but the life had literally disappeared from me and I was just a shadow of my former self, not to mention I could no longer enjoy any of the things I used to because now they just hurt, and if I was pretending to laugh and smile about them…it was all an act.

Over time I’ve kind of built myself back up again because obviously, you have to. You don’t have a choice, but I’ve never really been 100% myself again since. As time goes on, you meet new people, you go to new places and you do new things – new memories that shape and build who you are, hence why people change with time. Even if my best friend was still alive, at 19 I wouldn’t be the same person that I was at 15.

That doesn’t stop me from missing my former self though, because I do, I miss her a lot. Even though I was dealing with mental health problems, I was still this funny, outgoing 15 year old who loved One Direction and had the best friendship group she could’ve asked for. After what happened, everything fell apart and so did I and I just changed, I didn’t know who I was anymore, I was still trying to be this girl that everyone knew but I just wasn’t, my heart wasn’t in it. I was quiet, anxious, panicked, sleep deprived, sad, ill, scared to let people in – you name it, I was like a walking ghost, with the exception that I was still trying to be my former self but I just couldn’t. I was like this for years, obviously I improved with time but at the base of it I was still lost, because I hadn’t created a new personality for myself, I was just sad and trying to be this girl I knew I wasn’t anymore, I had no set identity – everything was jumbled and I didn’t really know how I felt about anything anymore, I didn’t know who I was.

As I’ve got older, that 15 year old girl still exists somewhere – my humour is still as big as ever and I still love the things that I used to, but it just feels less authentic now, like my heart isn’t really in it. Like I’m one of those Russian dolls buried inside the other, and I’m kind of just looking out through someone else’s eyes. Like I’m in my body, but it’s not actually my body – I know everything is still there, I just can’t quite reach out far enough to grab it. Now that I’m 19, I think it’s fair to say I’m an adult, or a young adult – whatever you want to call it. Over the past few years I’ve tried so hard to figure out who I am, what makes me, me. I had to rediscover everything again and start from scratch, I was scared of my identity because I didn’t have one, I’d look at myself in the mirror but I wouldn’t recognise who I saw, I’d say things and wonder if I was saying them because it was natural, or if I just thought it was the right thing to say because I was trying to stay in line with the image in my head of who I thought I was.

I used to constantly want to run away from everything, I’d disappear for 3 months straight and cut my hair and change my style and lose 10 pounds and one minute I’d be outgoing and full of life and the next minute I’d be distant and mysterious and it was all such a mess. I didn’t know who I was, so I decided to be everything, and I couldn’t run away from myself, so instead I ran away from anyone who tried to get close to me. It’s only within the past 6 months or so that I’ve stopped running, which is scary because for years it’s been the only thing I knew – but through self love i.e. looking up to the right kind of people and reading the right kind of things, I’ve learned to accept that I am who I am but I can change it if I want to at any moment. I don’t need a set identity, I don’t need to label myself as anything – I don’t need to fit into one certain fashion category or any category at all. I am a soul, and my body is just the home in which I grow in – I can decorate it however I want.

I used to care so much about what people thought of me, my whole life was ruled by it, and I mean to the point where I wouldn’t even post a tweet on Twitter because I was worried what other people would think. The tweet could literally have been a song lyric but I would hesitate and panic and in the end never post it. That’s how bad it was – and this was across all aspects of my life both in the real world and online. Now, I still do care what people think because it’s something I’m working on every day, but I don’t care half as much as I used to. I’ve definitely acquired the f*ck it attitude lately, and I’m loving it.

A word that I’ve found myself using a lot recently is ’embracing’ – because for the first time I’m embracing who I actually am as a person, and I’ve never done that before. I’m accepting that these are the things I like, this is the music I like to listen to, these are the clothes I like to wear, this is the kind of lover I am, this is the kind of friend I am, these are the kind of books I like to read, this is the kind of thing I like to do on a Saturday night. All I ever used to do was push myself away, if I liked something I wouldn’t allow myself to accept / embrace it, because what would other people think? Would other people be okay with that? Now, I couldn’t care less. I used to be embarrassed of myself because I used to hate everything that I was (for absolutely no reason, because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me) but that’s not the way I saw things – why couldn’t I be like that person? Why couldn’t I look like her? Or have her mindset? Why was I like this and this and this when I could be so much more like that?

I was never fake, I never actually succeeded at being something I wasn’t, because I’d try it for a few days and hate it because I just knew it wasn’t me. The result of that was then beating myself up over it – why can’t you change Chloe? Why do you have to be you? Why can’t you just be like everyone else? I suppressed who I was so much to the point that I didn’t know anymore, I was so lost – I was all over the place.

Now that I’ve started embracing it, I’m gaining my identity back along with my personality. For the first time in 4 years the real Chloe actually seems to be making a reappearance, I’m becoming my own best friend and I’ve stopped beating myself up over absolutely everything, I’ve stopped hating myself for wanting to stay in and read on a Friday night rather than going out to party or just generally going out at all. You know? Everyone is different, everyone likes different things which is why we’re all individuals and no two people are the same. Everyone else is accepted for who they are, so why can’t I be? What makes me so hideously awful that I think no one will ever accept me? Like I said, self love is key, and I love myself. I think after 19 years it’s about time I said it and stopped worrying if other people will think I’m arrogant for doing so. It’s not arrogance, it’s love. Love that’s been a long time coming and is well deserved, because all I’ve ever done is hurt and abuse myself and my body, and I refuse to do it anymore. I’m going to protect and look after myself like I would my own daughter, like I would anyone because I’m so caring and full of love, yet I’ve never been able to show that to myself because I’ve always believed that I’ve never been worthy enough of it. Well, no more.

My personality is coming back to me because I’m allowing myself to accept all that I am, and embrace the things I love and the things I’m drawn to, because that’s what makes me, me. The most emotional part of it for me is the fact that other people are noticing, they’re seeing me come back to myself and they’re smiling because they know it means things are getting better, I’m getting better. Seeing me happy is making them happy too, and that’s all I could ever ask for.

Physically, my identity is changing all the time because I am a work in progress that will never be finished and that’s exciting for me, there’s a quote that says “The best project you’ll ever work on is you” and it’s the one thing I always keep in mind, because it’s so true. I’m an artist, I’m redesigning the house my soul lives in every day, and I’m loving every minute of it.

I’ve been calling my own name for such a long time and finally, I’m listening. Finally, I’m coming back. Finally, I’m coming home.

As cliché as it sounds, I’m not running away anymore. I’m running towards myself with open arms, ready to swallow the whole world.

All my love,

Chloe .xx

35 thoughts on “finding your own identity

  1. Lauren Dempsie says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and omg I honestly couldn’t relate to anything more! I’m on my journey of self discovery at the minute because I realised I lost myself and who I was, I don’t know what my interests or hobbies are I just don’t really recognise myself. Which has been made worse due to depression. I just started blogging and have found it to be quite reliving. I struggle with wanting to do things or be like someone or something but worrying about not only what other people think but what I think. I struggle to accept that I might like something different than other people and that its okay to do that. I read things and get inspired by things but don’t have the capability to actually change me. Thank you for this read and I look forward to your future posts X

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Hi lovely! Depression is one of the main factors for me that made me lose a lot of who I was, it really does take everything from you and it’s so hard to build yourself back up again each time, but I’m so glad you’re making way through your journey! It’s absolutely more than okay to not do what everyone else is doing, it’s good to be different – do whatever it is that makes you happy. Thank you so much for reading 💞x

      Like

  2. thevisualdiaryofabs says:

    So amazing Chloe. I’ve been so confused about myself these past few years, I wrote a post about it not long ago because I was looking for someone who maybe felt similar, so I am soooo so happy you’ve expressed how you feel. This post has really inspired me to start accepting myself for the things I do like doing, and just let it all in. Thank you for this & have a wonderful time in Disneyland!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Thank you so much lovely 💞 It means such a lot, I’ve probably read that post of yours already but I will definitely go back and re-read, as I always love to hear other people’s thoughts on situations like this and the way they feel about themselves. I’m so glad this post could make you feel something positive, thank you so much for your lovely words and I’ll definitely make a post about my Disney trip when I’m home!! 💜✨xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is Kat. says:

    Firstly, I am so sorry about your friend. I couldn’t imagine going through that sort of experience. Especially at such a young age when it was going to have such a huge affect on you. But Chloe, you are amazing. I felt so proud of you reading this post. It is so genuine and truthful, and it’s so lovely to read about the person you are becoming, and that you are accepting that. Embrace it lovely, because you truly are a wonderful human being who has stepped so far! I was currently writing my own post, a similar context, but I paused to catch up on some posts and came across this. I’d love to leave a link to yours in my post (if that’s okay) and just reassure people that there are people like us going through similar situations and that it’s okay to share a story. I wish you all the support and luck in the world, and can’t wait to see you grow as a person! Lots of love x

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      This was so lovely to read, thank you so much. Of course you can leave a link in your post angel! Go ahead, I’m flattered you’d want to do that! I’m so glad you felt something reading this and your comment was the first thing I read when I woke up this morning so you have honestly brightened my day, thank you so so much for your lovely words 💞xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. samanthamohun says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I think one of the hardest parts about growing up is finding who you are meant to be, not what other people want. It takes a lot of reflection. And a little bit of doubt as well. It’s good to question your thoughts/actions to be able to discern who you really are. It all happens slowly. So slowly that sometimes it feels like it’s not happening at all. Another thing, I think we pressure ourselves to feel like we know who we are because we see others and think THAT is how I’m supposed to be – I should know who I am by now. But I don’t really think that is true. I don’t think someone stays constant forever, we are constantly changing and being broken down and being reborn…but that’s the beauty of it all. I don’t think people ever really know who they are. I think it’s more of a choice- I am going to choose to do this or react this way. Maybe what I said doesn’t make sense, but overall, I’m glad you wrote this. I’m truly sorry about your friend, but I know she would be happy with the person you are today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      You are so welcome! Thank you for reading, even though it may take a while, I do believe that everything we go through contributes to eventually being able to take a step back and seeing who we really are and realising that we can (and will be) so many different things throughout our time, that we never need to confine ourself to one label. I completely agree, we see others with a set identity and think wow, I need to be doing THAT. I need to have myself figured out by this age, or I need to be able to define myself by this time, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a lot of pressure we put on ourselves, simply because we’re too worried about what everyone else is doing. Thank you so much for your amazing words, I love to read them 💞x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. crystalsandcurls says:

    I actually teared up a little reading this . . . fucking amazing post. I genuinely can’t imagine losing my best friend – especially at 15 when, as you’ve said, they’re such an integral part of your identity. I don’t think anyone can blame you (and you definitely shouldn’t blame yourself) for reeling from that for a few years; I’m just so glad you’re coming back to yourself now. The Chloe we all know is beautiful, inspiring, kind, funny and amazing – I’m glad you’re realising that as well 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Girl you are the best 💓💓 You never fail to make me smile !! It’s never a nice thing to go through or see other people going through but in a way I also think it’s necessary…if that makes sense! It’s definitely a learning experience. Thank you so much xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. seaofwordsx says:

    Wow omg this post is so beautiful written! I really get goosebumps 💜💜💜 I love you Chloe. I can relate to you in so many ways. I had a relationship from 17 till 19 years and after that time I also lost myself and was constantly running away. I partied, kissed boys I even didn’t, began to drink because those fake friends looked to me like omg are you not drinking? I’m not proud of that time but I learned so much. I learned that self love is the key in life and like you said, we have to embrace ourselves. I always was comparing myself to other people and afraid of what they would think of me. I still am sometimes but less more. It’s so good to just say fuck it and do you thing. You are beautiful Chloe and hopefully one day we can meet maybe. I feel like I can relate to you in so many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      I love you too my little angel! I think after something like that happens, we lose ourselves so much that we almost rebel in a sense and basically throw ourselves into anything and everything in a desperate attempt to find something that makes us feel the way we used to, I know I definitely did. It’s never a good thing and it’s heartbreaking to watch but it’s also a learning process and something we as individuals have to go through in order to find ourselves again, I’m sorry you had to go through it lovely💓 I hope one day we can meet too, we’d have so much to share! All my love to you .xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. kirstyjadeblog says:

    I just want to remind you of how amazing you are for getting through all this, and although you are definitely still fighting and learning, remember how far you have come ❤
    I can definitely relate to some of what you are describing, thank you so much for sharing and reminding me I am not the only one who feels similar xxx

    Liked by 3 people

  8. shewrites170 says:

    You are aware of how you feel and you can explain it and share it with others that really nice for teens are really confusing for everyone with so many uncertainties and insecurities. Nice that you are handling loss and everything beautifully. Though you might have heard of this before also but reading about all your concerns reminded me of what my friend used to tell me don’t think much. Just live your life maintaining a mix of what you ought to and what you want to with not going to an extreme with both of them and what others think, say and do is their problem and not your job. Just live your life. Nobody is perfect and those who waste time discussing others are good for nothing so why give a care. You are too sorted for a nineteen year old.
    Best wishes
    Cherry

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Veronica M. says:

    Aww girl reading this my heart went out to you because I relate so very much to many of your words describing what you’ve gone through. I’m so sorry to hear you lost your best friend. I in a sense lost someone extremely close and special to me recently and I definitely agree that it leaves you a changed person, losing someone you loved and were so close to like that. I doubt I’ll ever fully be the same or quite happy as I was, but it honestly can’t be helped. I’m just trying to embrace myself as well and hope for the best, though its very difficult at times. Sending lots of love and hugs to you Chloe 💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • hell0chloe says:

      I’m sorry that you can relate to a lot of this lovely, I’m always here if you ever need to talk. After losing someone close to you it can feel as though pieces of yourself have been ripped away and you don’t know if you’re ever going to find them again, but I’m hopeful that we always do in the end. You can never be the same person twice, but nor would we want to be in my opinion – I’m grateful that we’re all forever changing. Thank you for reading angel, lots of love to you 💓x

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Little Mayfly says:

    This makes so much sense! I had the same issue as you whilst overcoming depression as I just didn’t know who Chloe was anymore! It’s kinda scary! But I think I’m starting to find myself again now! I really like your posts when you almost rant about your feelings I find them very relatable ☺️Xx

    Liked by 3 people

  11. purrpale says:

    I agree completely with every single thing you put! I’m still in the process if finding myself and yet, telling myself I don’t need to have a set identity – I can like whatever I want and be whoever I want and change things up whenever I see fit. I’m glad to hear you’re doing somewhat the same, it helps feeling less lonely! I hope you’re doing good love! 💓

    Liked by 3 people

    • hell0chloe says:

      I think we’re raised with the idea that we have to be one specific way and define ourselves as one specific thing, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised that that’s not the case at all and my identity is actually fighting against that, because I simply cannot define myself as one specific person, I am everything. I’m really embracing it now and I’m glad you are in the process of doing the same. Thanks for reading lovely💓 xx

      Liked by 1 person

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