‘Who am I?’
You probably ask yourself this once a day. Any normal person would. When I scream at someone for going too fast or decide to eat sushi for lunch when indeed I hate seafood, I ask myself the same rhetorical question. I stayed away from creatures of the sea growing up because I didn’t want to be a seafood eater, dammit!
There is no doubt that we spend the majority of our life trying to build our identity. The things we liked when we were little will one day morph into the smaller bits and pieces that make up who we are. Or who we hope to be.
I can remember things from when I was little that profoundly shaped who I am today. I chose those things on purpose for that fact; we all do. I wanted to like books so much because one day, I wanted to write them (and still do). I liked experimenting with clothes and such so that one day my true style will be figured out and that as well can mold my identity. I loved at an early age because I knew that love was my thing. Not just with boys but life and friends too.
So how does Spice Girls come in? Ha, funny story. When I wanted to write about the topic of identity I struggled with the ‘how’ and ‘so what’. Then one day, I reflected back to an argument I had with a friend that involved halloween, Spice Girls, and one hell of an identity contest.
Cue to a group of girls sitting at a table talking about the upcoming halloween plans.
Where are we going? Still New Orleans? Oh…you needed to book months ago for that? Okay, KATY it is!
So then, what should we be? It was decided that we were going to be the Spice Girls. Actually, another friend of mine and I had talked about it a few months prior and we both claimed our girls, Baby Spice for me and Sporty for her. Then we left it alone.
The idea appeared months later, this time in front of a larger group. We all loved the idea and without any break in conversation, Brecklyn announced her ownership for Sporty and before I could chime in Allie shouted “Omg, I’m Baby Spice”. Oh no she didn’t.
(Allie announcing that she was Baby Spice)
The next five (x50) minutes were spent arguing over which girl we were going to rightfully own. I was assigned Posh Spice but no matter how edgy and sexy Posh was, I did NOT want to be her. No matter how bad I fought, Allie fought harder for the case that the Baby Spice getup basically existed in her closet. Allie is the fashionista and all around style guru. To be honest, she does dress like Baby Spice. Platforms and all. But regardless if she was right, I was right too. I was nothing like Posh and my hard earned personality fit that of Baby Spice. Innocent, sweet, and I totally loved lollipops. So I retorted with the fashion argument to level up: “Oh so you frequently see me wearing tight black skimpy dresses and chokers, oh no you don’t. I am nothing like her!”
This argument went back and forth as the others eventually changed the topic of discussion. I could feel the heat lifting off my face. I could have grilled a chicken on my cheek right then and there. Allie and I both ended the conversation and never talked about it again. We all went our separate ways that halloween, me as Wednesday Addams (more my energy at the time) and Allie as a cat (typical). And if you’re thinking this was when we were adolescent girls, you are fooled. This was a mere two months ago people.
Every time I think back to this I laugh out loud. I laugh at how genuine and mad we both were. We were defending ourselves. We were defending the girls we once were as well as defending the two women that were sitting in the bar that night. I had spent my life making sure I carefully and also carelessly constructed my true identity. I know I have yet to complete the process but I wanted to make sure I was staying true to what I had built so far. And so was Allie. She’s more spice than baby but I was threatening her identity without even knowing it. I was so protective of mine that I was insulting hers.
Identity is a funny thing. It will always change but ultimately, don’t you think it stays the same? I guess in a sense, it just grows. The decisions and choices you make, the music you like, the books you read…they all help flourish an already existing person.
Needless to say, don’t feel bad if the one thing you feel like you can defend until the end of time is your identity. That’s the amazing thing about it, it’s yours.
Alright, I am done. Posh – out!