I’ve been having a bit of an identity crisis recently. I had the realization that I may not be as southern as I once thought. I’m having difficulty determining if that actually matters, but uncertainty of self is a bit anxiety inducing, you have to admit. I realized I grew up on the outskirts of social groups and never really within one. Something like a wallflower socially, except I like standing out. Do you see the pickle that I’m in?
In some ways, this is nice. I get to flutter between groups and pick up what I like. From the rural southerners I get interesting, creative language and sayings. I get the benefit of understanding manners and social cues. I get to put on a thick accent and am even sometimes able to blend in. The downside is I feel like an imposter.
Figuring it out, that’s what I’m doing. Actually, no I’m not. I can’t ever figure anything out. I’m just thinking about it. I’m just a person at the end of the day and at the beginning of the day and in the afternoon.
I just can’t help but see the past, the people before me, the history of myself and wonder, am I my history, my family’s past? Is where I’m from who I am?
These are the kind of questions I can explore through fashion as if a certain combination of clothing can reveal to me my inner self. I figure that if I feel comfortable in a certain style then maybe a part of me can relate to the shared experience those clothes represent.
The majority of this outfit is thrifted (shirt/shorts) or borrowed (hat/flowers). I liked exploring this side of who I am. The person who likes to help her mom plant flowers and show off her homegrown tomatoes. The person who likes the heat of South Georgia sun and her grandfather’s hat to help create some shade. I do like that person, that part of myself. But even still that’s not wholly who I am. Nearly every outfit for me is like a puzzle piece and maybe one day I’ll be able to assemble them all and get a good look at the final picture. Until then, I’ll keep exploring my own understanding, my own identity. And if that picture never presents itself to me, if I never really know, that’s okay. I’m comforted in the fact that I’m even given the time, space and capability to ponder seemingly frivolous things. Few are granted the pleasures of meditation on self or expression of self.
What do yall think?