I was thinking the other day about who I am. Yes, philosophical, I know. But this is an important question.
Who am I? Who are you?
I was thinking this because I’d been in a sad mood. I’d seen people on the tv and my social media who just seemed so…themselves, you know? They were individuals. They were authentic. They had personality. They expressed themselves. And all I kept thinking was…
“they know who they are…”
But I don’t. Or do I? And so, I did what I do best – I wrote a list in my journal.
I listed all the things that I think I am:
- A writer
- An author
- A trier
- Interested in style
- Mixed race
- A reader
- A daughter, sister, girlfriend, niece, granddaughter
- And so on, and so forth
But what got to me was the fact that some of these things didn’t seem ME enough, and they weren’t definite enough.
Take the reader thing. I love reading. I do read. But I don’t read religiously and finish like 4 books in one month. I haven’t read all of my life. I couldn’t sit there with another reader and talk about books all day. I’d fall short.
And so, to define myself as a “reader” doesn’t quite feel honest.
And then I don’t like defining myself by my physical attributes. Being mixed race (Black Caribbean and white British) doesn’t in any way tell a person anything about ME. Curly hair, short 5″3, wearing rings, brown eyes, caramel skin… it’s all nothing really, just an image. A shell.
What’s in the shell?
Now, I began to think a little more. What do I like?:
- Harry Potter
- Game of Thrones
- Avatar the Last Airbender (series)
- Writing about life
- Reading about life
- Depth and meaning
- Exploring intentions, emotions and the mind
- Wonderful sights when travelling
- Other cultures and language
What do I do? Think? Feel?:
- I worry a lot
- Bubbly personality
- Commitment fears
- “What if?”
Are any of these things ME?
A lot of my thinking is negative. It’s fleeting. It’s uncontrollable. It’s damaging. It’s uncertain.
So is it me? I’d say no. My likes are huge but are they solid enough? Could I match up to other HP “fans”; sadly, I don’t think so. And our likes change, right?
The trouble I kept having was that I didn’t feel enough of anything. HP fan but not enough. Reader but not enough. Intelligent but not enough. Even as a writer, something I do all the time and is my passion, job, and career – it doesn’t feel as big a thing in my life as others may think it is for me.
I’m not enough of anything, so who am I?
I know this is quite an impossible task that I set for myself that day. Defining who you are is extremely complicated. Philosophy and science aside, we are all a complex mix of many things that come together to make up who we are, and even this shifts from time to time, naturally.
Our thoughts and feelings and emotions don’t define us, but they can lead to habits and behaviours that do come to define us.
Our bodies aren’t who we are, but they’re a part of the puzzle. Our minds, as mentioned before, aren’t who we are but our personalities and quirks and the way we perceive this world acts as a piece of who we are.
And lastly, there’s our spirit. This is harder to define but I feel that our spirit is our passions, our beliefs, our dreams and desires and purpose in this life. But not many people find there’s, and so they lose out on a key part of who they are.
Body. Mind. Spirit – these combined is who we are…
I may be toying with this idea as a bit of an inner turmoil, but I also need to recognise (and perhaps you do, too) that “who we are” changes and shifts a lot and often.
When I was younger, I could be defined as an athlete. This is definitely not true anymore! In education, I could be defined as academic and studious. I didn’t finish university, and I’ve been out of that environment for 3 years – so is that who I am now? No.
And that’s okay. It’s called change and growth and development and clarity and self-exploration.
If who you are remains the same for your entire life, did you ever really experiment? Test the fabric of your being? Explore your Self and your abilities? I’d say no.
I’ll leave you with this to help you if you’re beginning to now question who you are…
Here’s what you are NOT:
- Your mistakes
- Your likes or followers on social media
- Your past
- Your family
- Your limitations
- Who you compare yourself to be against other people
- Who anyone tells you that you are
- Your negative thoughts and upsetting feelings
- Your illness(es)
- Your bank account and socioeconomic status
- Your material possessions
- What society says you are
And here’s a few things to get you thinking about who you could be:
- What are your passions?
- What do you do daily? Weekly?
- What do you dream about?
- What are your ambitions? Motivations? Goals?
- What’s your occupation? Do you enjoy it? Does it challenge you? Is it what you want?
- What are your quirks and mannerisms?
- If you had a million dollars given to you, what would you do?
- How do you dress? What’s your go-to style and image? (By your standards, not society’s)
- What are your beliefs?
- Who inspires you?
- What do you like to read?
- What do you like to watch?
- Are you creative, sporty, logical, or all of the above?
- How do you speak? Treat others? Behave naturally?
- What are your close relationships? What do they mean to you? How have they shaped you?
- What do you like? Dislike?
- If you had one wish, what would it be?