Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday Factoid: Figuring it out

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: "Are you still figuring out who you are?"

Well, that's kind of a rough question, isn't it.

I'd like to say no. I think (and most people who know me would probably agree with this) that I'm one of those people with a pretty established sense of self. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know what works for me and what doesn't. I know how to motivate myself. I know what I like.

But I also know how to add to myself, if that makes sense.

I know that being open to new experiences and exposing myself to other perspectives has been eye-opening and rewarding in the past. While I tend to reject narratives spouted by people who insist I need to find happiness the way they did (in, say, religion or relationship goals), I like to hear about why their choices have made them happy and I like to incorporate versions of those choices into who I become in the future if it's inspiring for me.

I think "who you are" is a nebulous question. There's a kernel of self and it's hard to know which attributes are temporary descriptions for it. But I think another notable thing about me is how consistent I am. Some people who don't really understand my situation would make assumptions about my living choices and judge me as being in a rut, but I find that assessment kind of hilarious. I'm constantly renewing and refreshing and creating, but I have really specific methods of doing those things. For instance, I've always been a writer and I've always known I'm a writer, so everything I love gets written about. I think in the context of who I am, if I developed another incredible love for some medium of ideas, I would probably also write about it. It's my default mode. It's why I picked writing over performance art or visual art. I know that about myself, and it hasn't changed since I was a kid.

I'm also comfortable with who I am and I like who I am and I enjoy being myself. And because that was usually easy for me--I don't feel like it was much of a struggle, though it's a journey of sorts--I didn't understand for a long time why other people couldn't just do the same. A big part of the compassion I developed was learning to understand how people start with different raw materials and aren't working in the same atmospheres. And then supporting them as best I can with the stability I developed--letting them lean on me and climb on me if they need to.

I expect to learn and change and grow but yes, I think I know myself.

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