I Am Myself…
It’s a natural thing, they say. To be unsure of one’s self, of who we really are. Most of these doubts surface during our teenage years and in early 20’s. I had my fair share of identity crisis. I tried so hard to listen and to follow what others were telling me to do and what I am supposed to be, even if at times I don’t feel that it is me.
Conforming to social norms, particularly if you grow up in a close knit family, in a conservative Catholic country was very confusing for me. I was aching to break free, to do some things that was frowned upon, or some decisions that were considered a deviation from what our family was used to.
It took awhile. But yes, I managed to find myself. To learn to listen to myself and to listen but to still be discerning. To be understanding of what is culture, what is perceived to be right by other people and still make my decisions based on my own judgement.
Surprisingly, once I was confident that I am ME, that I was willing to take responsibility for things I decided on, that having shown that I would stand by anything I say or do, has been a lot easier for people around me to accept. Perhaps, because, they knew I was ready, that I knew who I am and they accept it.
Now I know to listen to myself. To be myself. I know that ‘self’ is not entirely appealing to some, but that is me. So I usually tell people, well this is me. I’m open to criticism, I’m open to learning more, to correcting mistakes I make. But don’t make me do something I don’t believe in, something that is not ME. Otherwise, I’ll tell you to just ‘shove it!’ It’s not about being selfish, its about knowing what I want and not allowing anybody to walk all over me.
Hmm, life is indeed a journey. And this quote just about sums up my feelings about finding and being one’s self..
All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself. ~Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal”