Soul Searching

I think for a very long time there was a part of me that couldn’t answer the question “who am I?”. That frustrated me and made me feel anxious, small and incomplete.

To be honest, I still can’t answer that question. The difference is that I no longer believe it’s a question that needs to be answered.

We’re all encouraged to “find ourselves” and go “soul searching”. This implies there is something to find, but what if it’s not really about finding something at all. What if it’s about accepting, growing, adapting, just being?

Perhaps “I” doesn’t need to be defined.

In fact, perhaps by defining “I”, by giving yourself a description, a label, a box to fit into you turn into a static image, a solid object. Maybe we are not supposed to be solid, unchangeable objects. Maybe we’re supposed to flex.

I’m now becoming willing to accept that “I” is a moving target. I’m different depending on the day, the situation, how hungry I am even!

I want to feel that I am allowed to change and adapt to my surroundings, my situation, the things I learn and the people I meet.

If I had a defined “I”, I would have to go back to the drawing board each time, make a big announcement to anyone that knew me – “hey, that’s not who I am anymore! I’m this person now!”

I don’t believe that this makes me inauthentic, or a chameleon changing to fit in. I’m actually a pretty steady person. Most of “my people” know what they can expect from me at any given time, but it’s something that is constantly evolving through time. Every time I learn something new, have a new experience or form a different opinion I change a little. I think that has to be not just allowed, but encouraged.

You’d think it was madness if I was still the same person as I was when I was 12, wouldn’t you? (Although I do think sometimes that’s what some people expect!) So why should I be the same person now I’m in my 30’s than I was in my 20’s? Why should I be exactly the same as yesterday?

As Alice in Wonderland says, “It’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

So, if you are also worried that you haven’t found yourself yet, my suggestion is stop searching and just start noticing instead. You are likely to be a different person tomorrow anyway.

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