Women’s Unity Movement presents the second of our TRUTH Series; the focus of the second segment being the struggles we face with finding our identity. In this segment we will hear from 5 diverse women who will each share their own personal stories on the struggles they face and how they overcame this, in a world where we are heavily influenced by society and social media. I pray this segment is not only relatable to so many but that it also helps give strength to those facing the same obstacle and in turn helps them on their own journey of discovering their truest self.
My intentions for all various segments of the TRUTH series is to educate others who may not be aware of such issues, whether it’s because it has never been a challenge they themselves have faced, to educate those whom are aware but choose to ignore the issue/s and lastly to help encourage others in being brave in speaking out. As we know, knowledge is key.
Next up we have Karlie Sanchez. Karlie is an Activist, Advocate and Future President, originally from Anaheim, California. Karlie now lives in Chicago, Illinois as a first-year student at DePaul University. “Everything about helping people has been the light of my life. Knowing that I can say or do something small or big, there’s someone out there who is impacted by me in a positive way has kept me going. Through all the work I have done, I still have more to accomplish and more people I hope to connect with”.
Struggling with my self-identity has been ongoing for almost a whole year. I currently attend Depaul University in Chicago, Illinois. I am originally from Anaheim, California and had been living there for more than 10 years. Throughout my life, I have always liked surrounding myself around like-minded people. I’ve been working with different programs and organizations since I was 16 years old. Back then, I I use to have so many groups of friends, but quickly realized that people really do show their true colours and that’s when as a person, you need to be able to set your boundaries.
In August of 2019, I moved to Chicago without really having a plan. I knew I was going to be in college, get a job, and make the best through it but I really didn’t know how hard it would be. Suddenly I’m living in a new city, with so many people. I experienced culture shock, and realized just how segregated this place can be, already I was starting to feel out of place. At my new school, I was expecting to feel brand new to everything so I really did not listen to my emotions. I had a hard time making friends or even allowing people to get to know me. I am usually known to be a social person and anyone who knows me knows that. However, at Depaul that was never the case. I just kept my head low and went to my classes. Whenever I felt out of place or unhappy, I just told myself what everyone was telling me “You’ll adjust to it.”
About 3 months into the semester, is when a lot of things started to change for me. I had quit 2 jobs already, I was very unstable, was at my lowest point while being there and the only thing I felt I was excelling in, was school. I walked around campus with my head high, but the minute I left school the world seemed very dark for me. I isolated myself from most of my friends, and stopped communicating with certain people as well. It wasn’t anything personal and sometimes I wish people could understand that instead of feeling entitled to my time, all I had been doing was trying to figure myself out all alone.
At this point in my life I was so unaware of who I was. I would wake up every day trying to get myself together before leaving my house because every day seemed like a new battle to me. I just did not know who I was anymore and that really got to me. I like to think about my future a lot, but at this point I completely stopped and wondered what tomorrow would be like. I lost all motivation to do anything, and I stopped all of the projects I was working on. I felt degraded and unsuccessful. Every day I would have conversations with myself asking so many questions, and I could never get an honest response. All this time I was just trying to make myself think I was okay.
See the thing is, a lot of people struggle with their identity in their ways. For me, I think it was because moving to a new state was more than what it seemed like. Everything was different, and I expected myself to know how to fix it all alone. The truth is, it’s okay to struggle with your identity. I feel that not knowing who I was provided me with the best opportunity to learn. I learned how to be alone and be okay with it. I learned to understand that I won’t always know things and I still must keep going forward.
If anyone out there is reading this right now, and somehow resembles with my story, please know that I understand you and I hear you. I know what it’s like to not know how you are, and if there is any piece of advice I can share with you all it’s to be persistent in your life no matter what. Chase your dreams relentlessly and don’t let a minor setback determine your major comeback.