You’ve decided your life is going to be different.
Instead of a hollow, empty life like those of so many people, you want something more. Something better. You refuse to reduce yourself to another mindless cog in the machine. You have talent. You want to change the world and affect the lives of the people around you in a positive way. You want to be remembered for the wake of beauty you leave behind.
Most of the time you’re happy with your decision to shrug off the expectations for you to conform. You ignore the herd. Your work is important. What you’re doing matters. It’s your purpose. You’ve found meaning. You’ve chosen your path (or it’s chosen you) and you focus on the things that are important to you.
But even though you’re following your heart and you always put your values first, you still feel the pressure to fall in line; to follow the proven path of “success” that so many people before have taken.
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Who you are is an idea.
Who you are is an abstraction of your life energy. It’s what you represent that defines who you are. You could cut off every part of your body; your toes, your feet, your legs and hands, and you’d still be you. You could be crippled, blind, or mute … or a debilitated mess kept alive with plastic tubes and bottled solutions being pumped in and out.
But your essence remains.
You aren’t your body. You aren’t your stretch marks or perfectly manicured nails. You’re not your pimples or the color of your skin. You aren’t the clothes you wear. The things you own don’t matter. None of it is who you are.
Who you are exists entirely within. Don’t define yourself in material ways.
You aren’t your body and you definitely aren’t your fucking khakis.
When I began blogging, I introduced myself to the world with a story of drugs, drinking and going to jail.
As time goes on, I’m less able to identify with that autobiography. Rather than describing who I was, I wrote about who I wasn’t. Doing this was an attempt to separate myself from a time in my life that I was ashamed of. But by defining myself as the foil of my former self, rather than dissociating from the past, I’ve only strengthened that connection. Just as there needs to be a Heaven for there to be a Hell, without that connection to the past, I wouldn’t be me.
I refuse to continue defining myself by the mistakes of my past … but now I’m left wondering, “Who am I?”
As I ponder this question, the less I feel any type of description would be adequate. Whatever I’d write would undoubtedly be irrelevant only moments later, for life is dynamic and change is the only thing that’s certain. I cannot define myself by my actions, my interests, my travels, or the things I own. It’s true that these things might begin to paint a picture of my life, but they fail to explain the person I am. I’m more than the sum of my actions.
And who are you?