Who am I?
If this question has frustrated you like it has me, this blog might be a place for you.
A fair warning first — I never ask “Who am I?” anymore. And my life is better for it. Let me tell you why…
Stuck in the middle of an aggravating life season full of lots of searching and little finding, I found myself sitting down at a table for breakfast with a mentor of mine asking this very question, “Who am I?”. I expressed this to him along with my frustration as to not coming up with any answers. He patiently listened to me vent until I finished with, “So have you ever struggled with this?” To which he calmly replied, “Yes. But you’re asking the wrong question.” What he said next changed my life.
He explained that “Who am I?” is always going to be a question rooted in the past. “Who am I” corresponds to the culmination of all of the decisions we’ve made and actions we’ve taken up to this exact moment in time. If we are lucky enough to figure out who we are, just give it a minute. The equation will change. You see, we’re trying to hit a moving target. One that never stops. But it doesn’t have to be this frustrating, he said. If only you’re willing to change your question. Instead of asking “Who am I?”, he encouraged me to ask this instead…
Who do I want to be?
Now there’s a question that can be answered. One that doesn’t have to be a moving target, if only we take the time to answer it fully. The process looks something like this:
Who I am + The Gap = Who I want to be
The work then is done in defining The Gap. It’s everything we need to learn, everywhere we need to grow, the habits we need to build, the relationships we need to cultivate — all of the stuff that will transform who we are into who we want to be. If we’re willing to do the hard work of naming it, then we’ll have a real chance of becoming it.
This blog is about answering that question. Some of these lessons I discovered long ago. Some of them I’m discovering for the first time today. All of them I continue to learn, and re-learn, daily. Because the “Who am I?” is always lurking, isn’t it? Distracting us from the things that actually matter. That’s why we need to name The Gap. And relentlessly pursue it day after day after day.
This is not an adventure for someone looking to arrive. If you’re interested in the quick fix, there’s not much for you here. This is a place obsessed with the process, where arriving is secondary to the journey. This is a place for growing, the real kind. The hard, messy, transformative kind of growth. The kind that makes it impossible to ever be the same again now that you’ve changed. If that’s what you’re looking for, this just might be a place for you.