Here’s something I couldn’t imagine anyone readily wanting to admit to himself:
“You aren’t who you think you are.”
It gets harder…
“You aren’t who you’d hoped to have become.”
There’s a caveat to these painful realizations of course – that is, they aren’t intended to be absolutely definitive by the period at the end. They aren’t supposed to be, anyway.
I mean to say, the caveat is this:
The worst possible thing we could do to ourselves is subscribe to notions that aren’t all meant to be static.
Ideas change. Aren’t entire societal norms challenged, if not shattered entirely? What, then, with the ideas we hold true about ourselves?
Are these not subject to change…
Here’s the thing I find to be consistently troubling about the way I think about myself:
Too often I find that I am too eager to subscribe to a particular idea I have in my mind, as to what I’m supposed to be become. Some believe this to mean “identity”. Others with a more dramatic depiction of life may think of it as “destiny”.
I’ve simply taken to calling it what I’m “meant to be”.
I’d rather not say it aloud to myself, as I find that even writing it out sounds juvenile enough. By now I would’ve thought I’d have graduated from employing these phrases so quickly; thought that I might’ve retired these sayings around the same time I stashed away my diploma, never to pull it out from it’s dusty shelf again.
And yet, the thought hangs over me like bubble waiting to be burst, but flying away too quickly.
I couldn’t possibly think of any notion more than this one – this idea that I, and everyone else for that matter, ought to discover what they are supposed to be. And to completely disregard said notion would feel too cynical, too self-defeating, even for someone like myself – someone a little too comfortable with swimming in my pool of pessimism.
But while I admit I’m not as ready to retire that idea as I had hoped to be, I’m coming around to another one that’s becoming a lot easier to swallow.
Maybe we aren’t yet who we are meant to become, and that’s ok.
Because maybe, we’re wrong about it.
And maybe this is for the better.
Think about it: how often are we ever ok with being wrong with something we’ve long believed in so wholeheartedly? And how much harder if our greatest wrong had everything to do with who we thought we were?
But what first feels incredibly jarring – the attribute of truth being that which shocks us to the core of ourselves – eventually, with time, might start to feel like something else.
Something like, “liberating”.
I can’t think of anything I couldn’t be more relieved to be freed from, than a wrong I’ve believed about myself all along.
It stings the pride, at first. Then there’s a numbness, a dumbing down of our senses from the hysteria of the lie to the actuality of who we are.
Then, perhaps after the initial pain, is peace. Waiting all along, to rescue us from ourselves.