WHO ARE YOU?
How many of us can genuinely answer that while omitting our jobs, and our societal roles? Let's try answering that question by prefacing it with these "hypotheticals"...If you were stripped of your job, your wealth or lack thereof), your instagram page, your twitter, your clothes and shoes, your weaves (that includes you too fellas), what would be left? Can what is left stand on its own? Think about it...
I think we often hide behind the idea of what we ought to be, who we should be, and lose ourselves in trying to adhere to what society, our families, and friends impose on us. So the question remains, who are you?
When I think back of critical moments in my life that defined me ... I am mostly drawn to what I initially deemed as huge disappointments. I took the road less traveled occasionally accompanied by a tribe, and at other moments feeling completely destitute. I have seen doors closed, and others swing right open. I have laughed, and I have cried. I have won, and I have lost. I've lived under a roof surrounded by family, and lived alone at the mercy of an unreliable car dodging homeless people, police, and violent ridden neighborhoods.
Interestingly, it was in those moments of having no money, no place to stay, no "friends" that I truly faced myself. In those moments, when the cacophony of my own deprecation quieted down, I finally heard that voice. That whispering voice that is often drowned by the masks we put on. That voice that tells you to take risks, to stand up tall when everyone wants to remind you of your shortcomings. That voice that reverberates in your soul, that tells you that you matter, that you are beautiful, that you are intelligent, that you are more than the sum of your accomplishments or failures. It is that small voice, that once had childlike tendencies and curiosity, that emanates the true you. Who you are, is something most of us have yet to figure out, because we've programmed ourselves to operate in away that is the anti-thesis of our intrinsic design. Regrettably, we hide behind these false narratives and we pretend in our professional domains because, sh*t we have bills and loans (credit, cars, college, etc) to pay! But how often do we meet ourselves and embrace what it looks like? How often do we let that voice guide our decisions? How often do we let ourselves simply be? How often do we see that the voice, that pulls the curtain to tell you who you are, is enough?
I hope you realize who you are? I think the best way to do that is sometimes to shut everything off. (TV, phones, parents, and taking some time to reflect) What would your 80 year old self say about who you are now, in your current state? Even if all you can afford is just 5 minutes a day, take it. Give yourself time and space to be you. Who you are is more powerful than you think... You are created with quirks and imperfections, talents, and interests. You were created from an act of love. You were made to live out your greatest version of yourself ( even a modicum would suffice when you consider the alternative), and not be a cheap duplicate of something you'll never be.
Today, I hope you get to know who you are. I sincerely hope you are ready to embrace every part of it. My father used to quote fables of Jean de La Fontaine when I was a child, and I can't help but think of The Frog that wished to be as big as an Ox. An envious little frog, who met its demise trying to be something it wasn't. There was so much wisdom in that fable. You get the gist, right? You will prematurely meet your demise trying to be something you were not designed to be. Who you are is enough, and you need to see it. Most importantly you need to know it. Your life depends on it. Eventually the world will catch up. But that won't matter anyway, because the most important part is your own recognition and acceptance. So simply embrace it.
-Dr. M. C.