Learning who I really am instead of who I wanted to be!
I have done a lot of self assessments over the years, but I still didn’t have any idea who I am until recently! I don’t think I have arrived completely yet, but I am a lot closer than I was. Journeying toward understanding has often been a very painful process!
When I was a young kid, I wanted to be a gymnast, or a dancer. I participated in gymnastics, and took a lot of dance classes. I was even part of a dance troop for a year or so. We performed all over a metropolitan city at various functions. It was a lot of fun, but then my family moved, and we lived in a small town in the middle of no where with no kinds of programs or additional opportunities like that. I said goodbye to that dream. My next goal was to be a performer in theater. I took Drama in junior high and high school and loved it. I was in a couple of plays, and thought I had hit my niche. My family moved again, and that was it for Drama. My next school didn’t have a drama department.
From there I ran at journalism. I was on my high school’s yearbook and newspaper. I loved writing and the whole process of putting pages together for print, so did really well. We moved around a lot when I was growing up, so yes, it happened again. We moved to a new state, and this time I was a Senior, so I gave up. I focused on graduating and being done with dreaming like that. I wanted to be so many different things, and none of them got very far along due to challenging situations.
As an adult, my dream was college. I love to learn and one of those people who thrive on textbooks and lectures. I also happen to think its important to take what I learn and apply it as quickly as possible so I know I really learned it! College would not become part of my life until I was much older. I got married young, and helped my husband through college. He graduated, and I got pregnant and being a Mom was my path for a lot of years. Those years had moments of me doing other things, but none of it gave me any idea who I really am.
I thought I knew me. I meditated a long time on who I believed myself to be. A lot of it is accurate. Some of it is not. I kept trying to fit myself into an ordinary mold. I told myself that I wanted simple and easy. I have never thrived on those things. My truth is that the best lessons I learned were done the hard way. I have never fit into a traditional box. I hate boxes to be honest. People have always tried to stuff me into them, and I just spring right back out!
So, I graduated with my Business degree, and was ready to go out and conquer the world in a new job. I cannot even tell you at this point how many places I applied to. I would get asked about my strengths and weaknesses and I would give what I thought was a sincere answer, but none of it quite fit. I felt like I was giving the answer that was expected of me. It bothered me a lot. I did assessments online, some of them through leadership portals for potential jobs, and asked family and friends what personality traits they saw in me. I really wanted to know, to understand me better!
I wanted to be employed with a nine to five job for someone else. I wanted benefits and a guaranteed salary. I wanted to be valued, and to be an asset to an organization. I wanted to be in leadership, and to teach people in some capacity. I banked a lot on pursuing that goal. I invested work hour time into it, then spare time into it, and even dreamed about it at night. I began to get discouraged and feel lost in the process. It sure was not fun! I have heard some say, “look at finding a job like an adventure, let it be a fun process for you.” I say, they must have gotten a job right away, because the process of looking for a job is hard work, and very stressful. I don’t know that I would ever classify it as fun!
One morning I woke up with a feeling of dread. I did not want to apply for another job I wasn’t going to get. So, I didn’t. I didn’t quit, but I did ask myself who I really am. Along the way I had plenty of moments of feeling like I was going the wrong direction. I wanted one path, but nothing quite fit. I turned away jobs because they weren’t me. So who am I really?
At my heart, I am a writer and entrepreneur. I don’t choose the easy paths. I walk the hard ones, and always have. Life has been tough many times, and I have done best when it has been the roughest. I love people, want to help them, and have an eclectic background. When I asked others how they perceive me, I got words like creative, innovative, hard working, articulate, honest, caring, truthful, and very organized. So what could this look like for me? Well, it means creating my own path instead of allowing others to define me. It means following a secret dream instead of giving in to the ordinary. It means embracing me instead of trying to hold me back! I have finally started to learn who I really am instead of who I thought I wanted to be! What a great start to a new ride!