Teen Tuesday – Change and Identity

I’ve learned a valuable, view-altering, paradigm shifting lesson recently about change and identity, so I wanted to share it with you all.  It’s not just for teens since I’m almost 30 and it obviously applies to me, but it’s definitely something teens should figure out early on.  You may have even learned this lesson before, but it’s worth repeating.

Put simply – Change in your life does not change who you are.

Too many times we look at the situations we’re put into, the jobs we have, the organizations we’re a part of, the big events we endure, the people around us…and we see those people and things as defining us.  It’s not uncommon to look at where you came from and everything you’ve been through and say, “All of that has made me who I am today.”  But that’s not true.  If you think this way, when your circumstances change, you feel completely shaken and lost, and have to try to discover who you are again.  The truth is all of those people, places, and events have molded and shaped you, but you have always been you.  Your identity will never change.  And your true identity is pure and good.  Any other negative labels you or others have given you are not who you really are.

Being my writer, English teacher self, I wrote a poem about it.  As a Christian, my identity is a child of God, and that will never change no matter what changes in my life.  I have a solid foundation that reflects my pure and true identity, and I will not be shaken.  What’s your identity?


“Still I Am a Tree”

by Dusty Crabtree


I am a tree.

I always have been and always will be a tree.

The seasons may change,

Vital rain and sun giving me strength and determination to grow,

A cool wind rustling my leaves as they tumble to the ground,

Then bitter cold seeping through to my core until I am numb and desolate,

And still I am a tree.


My growth may change,

the tips of my tallest limbs soaring to the heavens,

the buds on my branches flourishing into gorgeous blossoms

or barely having strength enough to sprout,

And still I am a tree.


The landscape may change,

flowers planted that waft fragrance into the fresh air,

a new building erected that blocks the warm sun,

and ultimately, a busy street paved where carefree wilderness used to be,

And still I am a tree.

brisbane city_tree

The caretaker may change,

some working with love, pruning and trimming,

others working haphazardly, snipping and stripping

until I’m left with both beauty and scars,

And still I am a tree.


And even when I’m at the end of my days

with withered bark and faded leaves,

with low-hanging branches sighing in the wind,

finally ready to shed my earthly form and take on one anew,


Still I am a tree.

I always have been and always will be a tree.


~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on April 2, 2013.

5 Responses to “Teen Tuesday – Change and Identity”

  1. Just beautiful.

  2. Beautiful poem, Dusty. Thanks for sharing the real YOU. Cheers!

  3. Beautiful Poem and so true!

  4. This is wonderful. Nicely done. I feel that way too. I always feel for people I work with because it seems to me they allow the job to define who they are. I work hard and try my best, but at the end of the day I am me no matter where I am or where I work. Many could use this gentle reminder. Thanks for posting and have a great week.

    Paul R. Hewlett

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