You know when you're absentmindedly watching YouTube videos and it suddenly gets to the point where you're 5 minutes into a video, with no real explanation or idea of how you've ended up watching it? That happened to me the other day, where I stumbled across a short film called 'Identity'. Admittedly, when I find myself in the depths of YouTube, I eventually realise it's time to go to bed when it's 2am and I'm finding myself hysterically laughing at videos of cats (or faceswaps... my all time favourite is this one here), but this particular video didn't really have the usual effect.

(link to film here)

The film is set in a "parallel universe" where everybody wears masks due to their lack of self identity - a moment I found particularly interesting is when a girl crosses the hall from one group of friends to another, changing her mask in order to fit in with the people she is surrounded by. This visual choice is open to interpretation but I see it as the desire to blend in and become part of a group, instead of the 'sore thumb' who sticks out and doesn't really look like they belong anywhere. The people you are friends with, realistically, will share similar values and morals to your own, yet I don't, in any way, think that this means you are all clones of each other - I think it's your differences which make the friendship what it is.

I remember, a few years ago now, when a band (twelve24... oh, the memories) came into school and spoke about how we each have a fingerprint which is completely different from everybody else's - which, when I think about it, is actually slightly terrifying. (For anyone who asks the commonly asked question of 'How do I tell the difference between you and Alice?', I think that's going to be my new response - "look at our fingerprints"). The truth is, everybody does have their own identity - no matter how similar they may seem to their siblings, friends, family etc etc.

For example, I am yet to find someone who detests milk, yoghurt, cheese, cream (or anything of the dairy variety) as much as I do, who also has a chronic phobia of vomit and is utterly in love with Benedict Cumberbatch. (If you're out there .... then hi!).

Even though I look extremely similar to my sister, we have completely different identities (shocking, I know!) and are more different than, I think, people realise. Because we look alike, people tend to regard us as the same person, which can be annoying sometimes - especially because she says the weirdest things EVER and I don't want to be associated with that! 

So, what shapes your identity? Without getting too deep and philosophical, I think the simple answer for this is that everyday you have ever lived has shaped who you become - both the good days, and the bad. The environment in which you have been brought up in shapes your identity, and so do the people you are surrounded by. However, I think you also have the power to create your own identity for yourself - through the choices you make, and the actions upon which you respond with. 

Something that has been part of my identity for most of my life is the fact that I am a triplet - no past tense; not 'was', not 'used to be' - I am a triplet and I will be for the rest of my life. I remember times when I used to be embarrassed to say that, fearing about how different and unusual it is - now I would give absolutely anything to go back and bask in the fact that I'm part of something that not a lot of people are without it feeling ... incomplete.

I also love to write (surprise, surprise!) - if I'm not doing it myself, then I'm watching/reading/listening to other people's work. I guess that stems from growing up in an environment where I was always encouraged to read, which drove me to go that step further and create my own work - firstly in diary format which, thinking about that now, makes me cringe uncontrollably - 'Dear Diary, x fell out with me today and I feel so sad' or 'Dear Diary, I think I want to marry x' you know, the usual (pre)teen drivel - a younger version of Bridget Jones. 

My favourite colour is purple, which is fitting as my middle name is Violet. I spent years of my life being embarrassed about that, but learnt to love it after I watched American Horror Stories and was introduced to the character of Violet. (Tate n Violet 4evs !! xx) Now I sit in smugness when people are telling their middle names, and I know that there's very little chance that they will possess the same one as mine. 

There's so much depth to everyone, which I feel you can't personally describe yourself. For example, if I was to sit here and describe my own identity, I think it'd be very different to how Alice or anyone else who knows me, sometimes better than I know myself. (Mainly for the simple reason that I'd probably leave out all the bad stuff).

So, to round off a post which originally started with my love for a video, I just wanted to end with saying that I think everyone should embrace their own personal identity instead of feeling the need to hide it or be embarrassed of it, fearing the reaction you'll receive from other people. Be unapologetically yourself because, at the end of the day, that's all you can be. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I'll see you next week!

Grace x


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