INTERVIEW WITH SHELLEY COLLINS

What's your print?

For me, identity is a constantly changing process. How I see myself today is radically different from how I saw myself years ago. I am fundamentally the same, but the expressions of myself have changed over time.

 

Identity is about who I am and how ‘I’ define myself. It gives me an understanding of who I was created to be.

 

But, overtime the layers of my identity have changed too. I was born in Barbados where identity is closely linked to your parents. This in turn defines how society views you. We tend to be shaped by the relationships we are in and those around us. Sometimes we’re defined by the areas in which we live or whether you are a country, town or a city girl. At times, we are even defined by the school we went to. Some people formed assumptions and views of me for studying at Queens College.

 

It’s important to be able to stand boldly and be able to go back and make peace with all of our experiences, both good and bad.  The reality is that every “single piece of layer” makes me who I am. It has shaped me and it has moulded me.

 

Every experience and every layer has made me reflect and become stronger. These challenges have helped me to mature as each layer of my identity has been laid.

 

I know who I am. I know my purpose and I’m committed to it.

 

I know who God says I am and the task he has set before me.