I am thinking about getting a haircut and it reminded me of the times when I was younger and would get upset after haircuts. I had very long hair until sometime in third grade. Besides my bangs, I don't think it ever got cut before then. I got it chopped off to about shoulder-length because I was tired of people pulling my hair (unfortunately, the kept at it after the haircut). I nearly cried because I thought that I didn't look like myself anymore. The last time I went through an "I don't look like me" scare was in 8th grade.
In third grade, I didn't realize why it made me upset. However, that last time in 8th grade I realized that it was because I almost entirely defined my identity by my appearance. I couldn't really trust my favorite color, animal, etc. to be part of my identity since I changed those in the third grade to try to fit in and hadn't changed them since. My name changed when going into third grade too.
My parents are immigrants so they do not correctly pronounce everything in English. On my last day of second grade, I heard my teacher telling my mother that I cannot keep thinking that my name was pronounced this way (as though I made it up and everyone was playing along). I learned the way it "should" be pronounced then. When I entered my new school in third grade, I introduced myself with this new pronunciation and have been doing so ever since then. My parents, some friends from before third grade, and some relatives pronounce my name the way my parents intended.
I know that identity is more than appearance or a name; it's the whole of a person. I have often questioned if who I am is just a product of me trying to be like everyone else. I have wondered too if we all are just a product of our experiences (like the idea of a tabula rasa). I don't think I actually believe that. I think it's more of a combinations of our experiences and who we are innately.
This is as far as I'll take this thought. I'm too tired.