As a first-year college student, I find myself questioning who I am. I am a big fan of Facebook, so I am constantly online and I frequently seeing posts of my friends who clearly have their life together. Then I start to question: What am I doing with my life? A lot of my friends are in their late teens or early 20s (like myself), and they have already had great budding careers, the capability to buy their own cars, marriages, and even families. Even though I know that I shouldn't, I compare these posts and their lives to my own and I wonder what great accomplishments I have done thus far. At the end of my train of thought, I wind up asking myself: who are you?
Who am I? It seems like such a dumb question because everyone knows who they are, right? I know that I see social media posts from people asking this question in a mocking manner, but now that I ask myself this question, it's pretty serious. Who I define or describe myself as is my self-image. It's how I believe other people view me, and it is a stepping stone to who I want to be -- my ideal self-concept (in marketing terms). Who do I want to be? Since I was a young girl, two things have remained constant: a mother and a wife. In elementary school, I wanted to be a teacher; in middle school, I had no idea; in high school, I changed from English professor to nurse to English professor to a certified public accountant. So now my ideal self-concept, that I hope to eventually reach, is a mother, a wife, a CPA (hopefully a successful one), and a small change in the world. I want to make a difference; I haven't figured out how I'm going to do that, what I'm going to do, when, or where, but I'm determined to do it. I just need to figure out who I am right now.
I've only been in college for seven months, but I can tell a small difference in who I am as a person. Part of that is I don't really know who I am. I know who I would like to be, but I can't get there until I know my starting point: Who am I today? If someone were to ask me who I was, what would I say? I'm a college freshman; I study accounting and fraud investigation. I'm a military child, an only daughter, with two younger brothers. I am North Carolinian -- I claim Wilmington as my home. But that isn't really who I am ... that's how I identify myself. I just don't know who am I. I know what I stand for, and what I want in life, but does any of that really matter if I don't know who I am?
I've asked my friends if they have ever felt like they don't know who they are, and they say yes. They asked if I have felt that way and they felt bad for me when I said yes. But why is this such a bad thing? Was it a bad feeling for them too? Is it normal? (This is a whole other question because what is normal? Just a comparison to everyone else, which is part of the problem of me questioning my identity.) Does anyone really know who they are?
Sometimes I wonder if anyone knows who they are. Is this a lifelong question people ask themselves? Is life a journey to figure out who you are? I like to think so. But when do you really figure it out? When you've graduated school or earned a job? When you've created a family? When you're retired? What helps define who you are? Is it the relationships you make, your experiences? What is it? As someone who is impatient for life, I want the answers to all of these questions. I want to know who I am. Not knowing who I am makes me feel lost, but I suspect I'm not lost; I just haven't found who I am.
I have to believe that I'm not the only one who feels like this, so to those of you who feel lost, let the silver lining be that you have not found who you are yet. That may seem like a contradictory statement, but it means that you still get to make you who you want to be. You still have time to make yourself who you want to be. You have time to make yourself be the best you that you could possibly be. To all those who are also lost, from one lost soul to another, take your time finding yourself, because there is only one you and only one life to be this you. Do the things you want to do, have all the experiences you want to have. When someone tells you to just be yourself, be the you that you want to be, because you haven't quite figure yourself out, so you can be any you that you want.