Questioning Who You Are

Questioning Who You Are

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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.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Brunton- Personal Brand Management

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.

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I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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