This song is about the journey of self-identity.
Identity development happens throughout everyone’s lifetime, though as a teenager, it’s the first time we learn about ourselves and experience how our identity informs our life. It is an integral stage of our psycho-social development and important for us to achieve for a secure sense of self. Psychologist Erik Erikson considers identity achievement as being necessary to successfully navigate our social world as we reach adulthood. Identity achievement occurs when a young person has had an opportunity to closely explore and then choose their identity with a high degree of commitment.
Being proud of oneself, accepting failure and trying again, having a genuine voice, and knowing there is an encouraging and supporting audience, all provide for development of positive self-identity. Sadly, Tall Poppy Syndrome is prevalent in Australia, whereby people of genuine merit are criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers. Tall Poppy Syndrome has been found to lead to withdrawal, mental breakdowns, self-doubt, fear of favouritism, depression, and anxiety, among other effects, and it can certainly suffocate a person’s dream.
As I wrote ‘IDK Where’, I explored my personal journey of ‘fear of failure’ alongside ‘fear of success’, of comforting myself pre-emptive to other’s inquisitions about why I was trying to do more, learn more, and challenge myself. I understood from my own experience the painful feeling of holding myself back from a burning desire to extend my learning, exploration and skill development, and enjoying the feeling of, and expressing a proud sense of accomplishment – so much of society is suspicious and questioning of those behaviours. I know this isn’t just my own experience, and is particularly prevalent for young people in the creative or performing arts. I hope this song helps in some small way to give a voice to this damaging issue.
I feel very grateful for those special people in my life who have stuck by me on my journey, always reminding me that it’s okay to try and fail, it’s okay to try and succeed, and even more importantly that it’s okay to be the person I want to be and feel validated as that person. I wouldn’t be confident enough to produce this song and have this voice without them. May we all be mindful to heed only the yaysayer gems in the rough of the naysayers!