I have always wanted a bracelet with a quote on it. One that said something inspiring or something that truly spoke to me. I wanted to wear it around my wrist, where in times of distress I could look to it for solace or guidance. Something to carry around with me that can keep me on track and grounded. But I could never decide on a quote. Some were snip bits from books by Freud and Voltaire. Some were quotes by Vonnegut that never failed to make me smile. Some were reminders that I am strong and that it will all be ok. I could never decide though which would be the most effective. Which would really help me out and be there when I needed it. I should have bought them all. I should have bought them all and stacked them up because since when can one word or phrase be the solution to everything. It can’t be. All our problems are different and they all have their own solutions. I needed them all to make me feel safe. I think everyone should have them all because we will never not need a reassurance that we are going to turn out alright.
Every day we are tested. Every day we are tried. Every day we are faced with another obstacle, big or small. If not, well then I am sorry for you because hurdles make a runner. They make you stronger. They make you fall so you can learn to stand up. Without them you do not fall, you do not stand, you do not grow.
Erikson says we face one general conflict in each phase of our lives and all the smaller problems can be attributed to this overall umbrella of a conflict. He says I am suffering from Identity versus Identity Confusion. He was pretty spot on. I guess you can say the successor of Freud and one of the fathers of psychology is credible; I guess. I wanted those bracelets to be a part of my identity. I wanted them to be the complement to my problem. The saying that could balance out my anxiety in an overwhelming situation. The answer to my problems because like Erikson says, I am confused. We adolescents are all confused. We suffer from identity confusion. We do not know who we are, where we are going, and what we can overcome. Who will we be? Who do we want to be? Which is the path to take? We turn left and we turn right in search of the answers. Some people read horoscopes, some read books, some read cosmopolitan. We are just looking for the identity that we have yet to form. Some, like myself, look to quotes. Quotes that may help me find the answers for myself. I look at quotes that speak to me because they remind me of what I believe and what kind of character I want to form for myself.
There are a million and one ways to create an identity. You can take any which path you find best fitting, there is no right, there is no wrong. Or you can create the a million and a second path. It is frightening to think that we are on the wrong path or that we are messing this whole life thing up. But as long as you are smiling at the end of the day, well most days, then I think you are doing it right. And if you are not, well you have a lifetime to change it. No one is doing life more right than someone else. Except maybe Bill Gates, he is doing it pretty well. But that is his life. His identity. We all have our own.
I should have bought them all. I should have bought each bracelet with each quote that spoke to me. They may help me create my identity because like Erikson said, we adolescents are rather confused and looking for help, it is all apart of life.
Originally published at medium.com