Who am I? Who am I?
I always dismissed the question of ‘Who am I?’ fairly quickly – almost as if in a frenzied state of mind. I recently wondered why that was. To rush self-analysis is not my style. Most of the time, I obsess myself with constant critiques and improvements, perpetually re-assessing myself and re-writing my thoughts, and consequently my behaviors, to reflect the better version of myself I’m determined to sculpt. This is the core motivator behind the personal inquiries I subject myself to whenever an unpleasant situation unfolds. I ask myself key questions about how I’m feeling after the event, how I felt during the event, what transpired (from as many perspectives as possible), and why I may have felt how I did.
Essentially, I realized that I’ve been unfairly interrogating myself about situations. I’ve put myself on trial every time something unpleasant occurred. I believed that it must be result of my own doing, and therefore. I wanted answers.
This behavior was counter-intuitive, but understandable as to why I conducted myself in this manner. I believe I developed a survival instinct of justification. Growing up, life was extremely difficult in many ways – from being born to clueless parents who weren’t prepared to raise children to unstable foster care to unhappy adoption to homelessness – and everything in between. Life up to my early 20’s provided no house where I felt at home – there was always an element of danger, scarcity, violence, manipulation, or emotional abuse. I never slept peacefully and developed horrible insomnia (some of which lingers today, though it’s gradually improving).
I say early 20’s like that was a long time ago. To me, it feels like it was a long time ago, but it wasn’t. I’m still in my 20’s. I have spent so much of my time in survival mode and have retreated so far inward to constantly monitor myself to prevent the bullying, the shaming, the abuse, that I lost sight of who I was – and more importantly, who I have become.
I am peeling back the layers of self-imposed defense and restriction I’ve smothered myself in these last two decades, so that I can finally breath. It’s time for me to open back up and not let my survival instincts keep me from being who it is that I truly am. The influences of the past do not define who I am, they should only be stepping stones along my journey of transformation.
See what happens in Who Am I? | Part 2.
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