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Presenting Identities

The natural characteristics we are born possessing and the labels with which we choose to associate mash together in a personalized way to create our identities. The intersections between these identity labels provide the multidimensional foundation of our beings. In different circumstances and with different people, specific intangible components of us will move to the forefront of how we present ourselves and how the world understands us, pushing other components temporarily aside. While abroad, I experienced various situations that generated a tug-of-war between identities. The outcomes sometimes felt like hindrances to connections, points of confusion, tools for building relationships, none of these at all, or occasionally all three to varying degrees at once. Although challenging to comprehend in the moment, each adventure I had abroad was evidence of the complexity of perceptions when it comes to the diversity of our identities. A label might mean two separate things contrasted between individuals. Thus, the intention behind one person might be interpreted differently by those surrounding them. The resulting dynamic will deviate from the original intention. That’s where the beauty of sharing one’s own identity becomes so gratifying. Sure, there can be challenges, but it also creates a space to learn about each other. 

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