It only took
thirty thirty-two years, but I am pretty sure I know who I am.
edit is ironic, given that I started this conversation two years ago and I am just coming back to it now]
Time feels endless in the pursuit of figuring that out. What am I supposed to do now? Just kidding. I guess you could say that I’m feeling the ground beneath me, certain of the footing that lies under my feet.
I haven’t settled in to articulate thoughts lately, whether it’s because there is too much or too little to share, I am not sure. Or perhaps, the need to do so changed when I did. Because there’s been a lot of that.
In the last five years, something profound has taken shape in my life – the process of knowing me has become my primary venture, and in doing so, I’ve found the strength in facing [yes, facing] who I am with significant clarity. Learning and loving it, really.
My sister gave me a journal a few Christmasses ago. In addition to the mosaic of images that she crafted together to make the cover page, what’s unique about this space is that each page is split in two – one heading reads ‘fears/insecurities/lies’ while its counterpart states ‘truth’. The idea? List the former and find the latter – through counsel, scripture, or other sources of wisdom that might guide the sensitivities of the heart.
A place to be vulnerable.
It took two years to write anything down.
I think that’s what happens when someone declares what I did above – I am pretty sure I know who I am – entering a state of vulnerability is almost more difficult. As if considering fears/insecurities/lies might disrupt the place I’ve come to in knowing who I am… at the risk that there is even MORE to know. The journal and charge came along right when I was feeling, for the first time in my adult life, remarkably settled. Content. Confident. Not brave or courageous, just present. Some of these aspects included: evolving closer to I’m-a-really-great-teacher status, losing 65+ pounds, sharing long protected honesties, limiting expectations, loving my family freely as they are, investing wisely, and trusting the process. I wanted to breathe that in and out for awhile. Forever, if I could. Because I worked so hard to get here.
And then, a couple years pass, and knowing who I am seems to be the current resting place for waiting for things to happen [and wondering why they haven’t]. In effort to set some goals for this current season, one of desiring change and shedding habits of an unsatisfying routine, the inevitable travel of self-discovery is starting again. Though I know it’s been happening all along.
Integrity, honesty, faith, compassion, intellectual strength, silence, nourishment, generosity, independence, humility, grace – all descriptors of what I understand as ambient values in who I am. Now though, I’m hopeful that this continued learning identifies some other characteristics, too – trust, courage, adventures, activism, spirituality, boldness, and disciplined commitment.
For so long, I’ve submitted to an idea that almost everything is out of my control – like meeting someone and falling in love or securing that moment in time where all is well for me, too. As I’ve uncovered who I am, it’s pretty easy to see the flaws of that thinking; circumstances can absolutely be created from a willingness to step beyond and consider the possibility that I have way more influence on where [and what/who/why] I am than I’ve credited before.
Generating a list in the aforementioned journal is simply a vessel to approach those crevasses of my being that I have yet to know. And maybe there, I will find more truths that make knowing who I am, in all its messy and disrupting vulnerability, an even more extraordinary, exposing place to be.
Here’s to the journey.
grace and peace