The concept of identity has always been fascinating to me, mainly because my own identity has always been ambiguous. I was born in a hospital on the south-side to a mother who was unfit to raise me. I lived in the foster care system for three years before being adopted by a family of a different race. I was raised in an area of very little diversity.
As I grew up, I realized there was a large disparity between what my life was and what my life could have been. Everything about how I grew up was white, my schools, summer camps, my friends, and family reunions.
As a person of color who has been raised in a predominantly white environment, I sometimes feel as though I cannot not fulfill what was expected of me because of my skin color. These insecurities are not due to my ability, but are due to my inability to completely conform to my surrounding environment. Even though my experience is mainly racial, I have found that the discrepancy between what we believe to be our identities and what others believe to be our identities is common among almost everyone. I’ve created this piece to discuss the concept of identity and to start a discussion about the misconceptions that can happen when we place more value in general belief rather than the true nature of those around us.