I believe that every single human on the face of this earth, lives a life of constructed identity. Be it an identity you construct for yourself, that society creates or that the people who raise you create for you. I like to think that I am my own person, but the more and more I think about the finer details of this idea, I realise how stupid I sound. I am no more my own person, than you are yours. Everything you have done to this moment, to this second in fact, has gone some way to constructing your identity.

I am the only person in my family to go to University. I am an Artist. I’ve moved away from where I was raised, where more than three generations of my family still live. I travel whenever I am able and have a wanderlust that scratches within my skin like a cat trapped in a bag. I am very liberal in my thinking. I have spells of anxiety and often refer to myself as a “head case”.

All of these details are aspects that I believe set me apart, certainly from family members, but they are actually inadvertently learned behaviours and society enforced ways of being. I am the only person to have been to University in my immediate family, but I remember as a child my Aunt going to University. I watched her become intelligent, secure in job that made her happy and still does and watched her confidence grow. I had no intention of going myself and was actually coerced into it by college tutors at the time. I didn’t go to university for me or because it was what I wanted, I went because it was “the done thing” and because I thought, it would give me a brighter future…not exactly how it played out as of right now. I am an Artist. But I know full well that I have ancestors that were also Artists, including one of the single coolest people I’ve ever met, a late Uncle. My Dad trained in photography and both my Mum and Nan were impeccably creative. I grew up in creative households. I’m an Artist because I have been moulded into one, like a piece of living clay. I moved from where I lived to a city I was born in and my ENTIRE family hail from. That’s just basic repetition and a severe case of going back to what you know, even on a subconscious level. I’ve even lived in streets that unbeknown to me are intrinsically linked to my past. I lived in a converted hospital, the hospital I later found out, I was born in. I moved to flat on a park, a park on which my Grandparents lived when they first married. I viewed a house in street that my Mother viewed a house in, both of us turning the street down. I now live literally up the road from an extended family member (only found this out last week) and in an area only a few minuet’s drive, from where my Granddad and Mother were in turn raised. Do you have an explanation for this? Coincidence doesn’t even cut it.

Wanderlust has been instilled in me since I was 18months old (my first holiday). Travel, see the world, learn and then travel again. From countless camping holidays as a kid, to residential school trips, I never let myself and was never allowed to miss one. My paternal grandparents moved to Canada with £50 in the 50’s. My Dad has lived and worked in various countries. My maternal grandparents travelled when possible and always looked outwards. My paternal grandfather and both great grandfathers were in the military, traveling the world. My wanderlust is as much a part of my personality, as my accent. It’s no wonder my internal cat is on the verge of turning feral. I also live in a digital age of watching the world unfold around me. The days of spinning a globe and wondering what that place looked like are gone. I am liberal in my thinking because some member of my family are absolutely not. I watch the doors in their mind slam into place on certain topics, understanding what this meant the older I became. Even in rebelling against the mentalities of those surrounding me, I’ve only done so because I don’t want to have people look at me, the way I look at them, as venom and ignorance froths at their mouths. My Dad, god love him, taught me how to bottle up my emotions. I’ve watched him function at a high level of “men don’t cry” all my life. I watched him twitch as he avoided confrontation and instead, take back control by cleaning. We grew up in a house that was almost spotless all of the time. With a mother who was the opposite, it was like watching magnets trying to slide past each other at times. I now function at a bizarre mix of the two. I am a complete scruff, but I am more than able to lose my sense of control at the drop of a hat. When I’m not bottling up how I feel, I’m crying about it. I could give myself a panic attach about nail polish if I gave it enough energy. So when I’m not flapping like a ducks arse I’m sitting in what my husband has lovingly coined “a nest”. This twitchy, irrational and fiery side of my personality, is something I live with but my doctor would happily medicate me for. No, it makes me who I am.

I am no more my own person as an elephant is a fish. But this isn’t a bad thing. I know that there are elements of my personality that I have inherited. I’m no more one thing than the other. At a time when I viewed my manufactured self as a bad thing, it was so easy to spiral. I wasn’t living the life I saw other people live via Instagram. I am not #instafit, I don’t look like a Kardashian and I’ve never liked, that as a girl, I get to be made from “sugar, spice and all thing’s nice” (what a crock of shit). I swear all the time, I hate exercise and the thought of being #instafit makes me cringe. I’m a size 12 ginger I couldn’t be further from a Kardashian if I tried. And all of these things that tell me who I should be are much more damaging, than those aspects manufactured by my family or geographical upbringing. It was only when I washed the bullshit from my hands, I saw that giving society a good strong, one fingered salute, is so important. I’m not nice all the time and that gives me strength, is doesn’t make me a bitch. I have an openly constructed identity, but I also know that some blueprints can be put in the bin. I don’t have to be anything I don’t want to be and in the same way I became liberal, as a rebellion, I’ll also just be happy as person. I read Vogue and watch documentaries, I spent four hours gardening yesterday and I’m 23 year old married woman, who can think of nothing worse than having a baby right now. Watch me and my constructed identify kick your arse if you try to enforce who you think I should be on me. I’ve be pro girl power since I was 6 thanks to The Spice Girls. In a time when being a girl is so much more than a wife and a mother, I’m allowing myself to flourish. My identity changes every single day. Every time I meet someone new or do something different I change. Why would anyone just want to be a boy or a girl or a wife or mother or anyone thing, when you can be everything and anything? I’m a direct contradiction to myself at times and a complete hypocrite at others. But completely fulfilled. And although adventure or something new is a craving I live with every second of each day, I otherwise couldn’t be more content. I’m a girl who knows who she is, I’m a girl who is a cliché and a contradiction and I am girl who lives in a state of balanced boards often hoping for the best. I can be exactly what I’m made to be and a complete individual all at once. I am girl, hear me roar.

*For Georgia*

Published by Hannah Doyle