Identity & Being Yourself

Imagine me, one Tuesday afternoon, chilled out to the max, work complete and looking for something to do. Sounds harmless yes? Wrong. I stumbled onto my Instagram page and thought it would be a grand idea to redo my bio. Fast-forward 3 hours later – me, rocking silently in a corner questioning who I am and where I belong in this world not to mention this social media sphere. All I needed to top it off was a dinner party and someone to ask “and what do you do for a living?” *cue full-blown anxiety attack.

 

At one point I deleted the entire Instagram bio and just wrote ‘human’.

 

The truth of the matter is, I haven’t known where I belong in the industries I’m in for a while now. I am majority writer, long time personal trainer, absolute Author of a cookbook, on the side uni-student, with undertones of a debaucherous rebel dying to express herself on her social platforms. But I am a lone ranger. I keep my head down and work away in all of these areas without being fanatical about one or the other. Hence confusion with how and where and when to express myself and what I do.

 

Recently I’ve been scared to post anything but fitness in case my fitness followers don’t continue to follow, scared of posting my writing in fear of my fitness readers not finding relevance, scared of posting non-food inspiration to my cookbook followers. And scared of posting a wildly irrelevant post that represents me but yet has no place anywhere.

 

For too long I have been scared to publicly change identities.

 

Why?

 

That is ludicrous.

 

And has me exhausted.

 

With some self-reflection I see it’s a bigger case of letting go. I have been known as a famous cover girl, model and public figure personal trainer and I have followers that have followed me for nearly ten years because of that. It’s sometimes difficult to let that go and move into a new phase of my life without fear that people (my followers) wont follow suit. I used to be a full time personal trainer and part time writer, and now I’m a full time writer and part time personal trainer. I asked myself, why is the struggle so real to show that?

 

Because, history does in fact define us. Our previous successes make us who we are and we undoubtedly cling to them as an identity. So transitioning can be resistant. Then lets discuss labelling, labelling is a huge business nowadays – every app or platform or subscription has a “describe who you are” section.

 

What I realised was, I needed to define what I’m passionate about:

  1. Inspiring women to be fit and healthy.
  2. Inspiring women to wear their personalities in the form of their fashion.
  3. Inspiring women to break the societal mold and create a unique and exceptionally diverse life.
  4. Inspiring women to have self-expression, equality, sexual autonomy, and empowerment with their bodies, therefore creating an insight into nonconventional ways to live their lives.
  5. Writing about all of the above.

 

I’m going to set you homework – I’d like you to do the same. Write down 5 things that you are passionate about. Then take a look at them, and see how they light you up but also that they don’t define you, they are not your set identity, they are changeable and in ten years they may not be you – and guess what? THAT’S OK. You are an ever-evolving human, your interests’ change, and your mentality changes and so do your goals. You are not defined by an Instagram bio, resume, a job title or a fixed idea of how your life was or is.

 

This is a bigger picture I feel, one that I cannot even attempt to attack here on my wee blog. Instead, I’ll just leave you with this…we are at the height of a decade; a decade of judgment, image conceptualization, and identity crisis. We are encouraged to chase our dreams, be authentic and embrace ourselves, but then body shaming, slut shaming, and labeling are higher than ever.

 

We are so confused, on the brink of a breakthrough.

 

The world is screaming “BE YOURSELF, but be careful…because we will judge you for it”. I refuse. Instead of being someone you follow because of a label, I’d like just to be followed because I’m another human, doing her thing, without a rule book – and if I can be your relatable mentor then that’s pretty cool too.

 

You will have noticed this blog transforming, into a lifestyle blog – not just health and fitness. So I do hope you come along for the ride.

 

Until next time, be unapologetically you.

Penny xxx