Identity is a being that changes like a current of the wind. As you cannot capture the waves of the sea, and you equally cannot define the concept of identity. Because of this, the changes and fluidity of identity is an integral part of its definition. Each person defines their identity, and identity in general, in a different way. My personal definition of identity is that it lays in a person’s values, their roles in life and in society. It is what you believe you are, who you choose to be. You need to lace into your identity each day just as you tie your shoes. However, each pair of shoes and each identity is different depending on the places they have seen and the obstacles they have overcome.
Identity is also a style. Usually it is the same as yesterday, however it changes over the rushing current of time. In childhood, your style and your identity is different than in your old age. But, you can also change your style manually like Don Quijote. For much of his life, Don Quijote’s identity was commonplace, normal. He was just a hidalgo in the town, who happened to like reading. This was all his life was, just distracting himself with novels to avoid feeling the defeat of a purposeless life. When he was inspired by the heroic tales of the purposeful knights and their adventures, he realized that life could be so much more. So, he recreated himself as “The Ingenious Don Quijote de La Mancha,” the adventurer and protector from evils. Because he wanted to be, he was. Identity is a verb, you need to take action to maintain or change it.
However, identity is not just an individual idea. It depends on which person in life you ask. If you ask a mother who you are, she will say “you are my daughter.” If you ask a teacher, “you are my student,” and so on and so forth. Even though you stay constant, your identity changes in relation to the people in your life. Before someone truly knows you, your identity is solely this role. It is flat and constant, a restraint on the full being that is identity. Sometimes, this causes problems because people tend to internalize identities given to them by others who may not necessarily know them. Sancho internalizes his role as squire, causing many problems for his character. In one scene, he even pretends like Don Quijote was there and punishes himself like his master would do by hitting himself! This is because Sancho played the part of squire for so long that his identity changed to match it. Even when he returned back to his home and regained his role as the leader and provider for his family, he was not the same as he was before because of the experiences that caused him to grow. In real life, people change like this as well. When we embark on the journey of finding ourselves, we leave the idea of constancy at the door. You are not only a reflection of who you want to be, but the experiences and knowledge you have gained on the road.