Who AM I?

Have you ever sat to contemplate the question “who am I?” It’s such a loaded question and there’s no one answer that fits all. The answer to this is as unique as you are. I know you’re so over the cliche about how special you are and that no two people are alike. And whether or not you choose to believe that is completely up to you. But back to the question of “who am I?” How could three little words be so unsettling for many? I know as I write this, it’s unsettling to me. Because to answer that question, you need to be able to sit with yourself, to sit with your thoughts, to explore the depths of your soul and be brave enough to face whatever appears. You see, we as humans are experts at wearing masks and we’re so good that we even wear one when talking about or discussing ourselves. We fabricate a version about ourselves that’s as real as the lives we create for social media — perfect or close to it but never really personal, never really vulnerable, never really the whole you just the one society says is acceptable, the one that your friends and family approves of. But what about the other parts of you that you deny in order to appease everyone or hide because of shame?

And while the question of “who am I?” never changes, the answer evolves. Because one of the things that I’ve come to realize is that all human beings are fluid, we’re not fixed beings and in our fluidity there’s magic, room for growth and exploration, room for failure and success. But how many of us have been able to sit with the messier versions of ourselves, the versions in which they are single at 50 and desperately want to be a parent, the version that doesn’t end in happily ever after, the version in which they are broken, battling depression and no one knows of their silent suffering…

I believe the purpose of life is figuring out who you are and living in your truth. To embrace the shameful moments of your past, the loss, the hurt, the disappointment along with the joys and opportunities. Life isn’t easy and it’s so easy for us to look to our friends, neighbors, families and see their version of success without knowing what’s really going on. Not knowing whether or not they’re working, not knowing that they’re one month away from eviction, not knowing that they are living in a homeless shelter or a rehab center. You see we look at people and see the polished versions of their lives but to do really see them?

So who am I? I am smart, funny, happy, sad, lonely, anxious, broke, rich, a big failure, a loyal friend, someone who procrastinates and is deathly afraid of failing even though I’m close friends with it. I’m terrified of being vulnerable but have no problem being open. I care deeply about people even those I don’t know and long for everyone to find their way. I want to form deep bonds with the humans around me and hope that we connect to our planet. I’v questioned and doubted myself more times that I would like to and have stopped pursing something simply because of fear. I once believed what a former boss told me that I am nothing special and while sometimes I still do — there’s nothing wrong with not being special and something exquisite about being “ordinary.” I’ve started to embrace loving “ordinary” whatever that means and I’ve found so much wonder, love and gratitude in ordinary that it is my special.

And while I’m nothing special, I’m willing to try and put it all on the line, I’m willing to be me, whatever that looks like and I’m ok with that. So who are you?

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