The question, ‘Who am I?’ has been asked several times recently. I don’t think I’ve ever liked that question. I’ve spent most of my life trying to be what others expected…I never really learned who I was. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Throughout my journey the last few years, I have let go of parts of me that were means of survival or the expectations of others; and I have discovered parts of the real and true me. So, why do I still hesitate to answer the question of who I am?
I made two lists tonight – one titled ‘who I am’ and one titled ‘who I want to be’. Though there are a couple of things on the ‘who I want to be’ list that I hope to be able to add to the ‘who I am’ list eventually, there is one main and very importance difference between the two lists – confidence. When pressed to describe myself, I can come up with a list of qualities; some biological, some talent/enjoyment related, some hard wiring, but all a part of who I am. As I look at the list, I feel more connected to certain qualities than others. It’s easy for me to say I’m a daughter and female because that is biological fact. To say I am a dancer and a writer takes very little because I have done both for most of my life, and they are as much a part of who I am as the fact that I have brown eyes. But some of the qualities on the list are harder for me to completely claim. Some are because there were so many expectations for me to be something different, and some are because I was taught that I could never possess those qualities. The main issue, though, is confidence. That is the one thing missing from the list of who I am, and it is stopping me from being who I want to be.
In my future, I hope that I am able to say that I am a mother and a wife, but these things would never stop me from being who I want to be. I will still be whole and complete without these things. I desire them greatly, but they are things that are not fully in my control. Lack of confidence will stop me from being whole and complete, and it is something fully within my control. It is my choice, and only my choice, to step into who I am – to claim myself and to love myself. The only expectation being placed on me is to be who I am. I am no longer in a space of needing to just survive. The world is open to me. I can thrive. I just need to believe in who I am.