We are born with no identity,
Except that bestowed on us by others.
We are somebody’s daughters,
Somebody’s sons or brothers.
Somebody’s firstborn, or best hope,
Somebody’s own dream unfulfilled,
Somebody’s religion perhaps, or class,
Someone else’s strong wishes willed.
We grow into these things for a while,
These identity mantles we wear,
They help us define who we are,
Till they get far too heavy to bear.
Then we cast them off, often with struggle,
Throw them to the proverbial floor,
Deny that all these things define us,
For we know deep inside we are more.
So off we head on our own pathways,
On our journeys to find our true self,
To find who we are on our own,
When our history is left on the shelf.
But through troubles and time we discover,
Though we may stand on a distant shore,
We are indeed all those things that defined us,
But we also are more,
So much more.