Figuring Out Who You Are
I could have a good business sense. I could be a person who understood logic more than emotion. I would excel in school and get good marks but fail to understand how people worked. I could feel like a stranger to myself, unable to figure out why I felt the things I did, but I would end up being very rich and smart and respected. But I’m not that person.
I could be good with money. I could say no to cab rides and eating out and that really cute shirt at APC. I could be a person who gets excited about finding a deal, who spends hours searching for the cheapest option. I could be someone who had saving and wasn’t perpetually broke the day before payday. I could not spend so much money when I’m drunk and learn to stay home in order to save money. But I’m not that person.
I could love everybody and not pass judgement within the first five minutes of meeting someone new. I wouldn’t talk shit and gossip behind people’s back. I would accept things at face value. I wouldn’t question people’s motives. LIVE AND LET LIVE OR WHATEVER. Yeah, I’m not that person, you freak!
I could date a lot and not be so scared of online dating or giving someone my number. People do that, you know! They give strangers their phone numbers. Can you believe it? Just thinking about such a brave act gives me anxiety, but these people aren’t scared. They just put themselves out there like it ain’t no thing. I am in awe of these types of people. I am not them. I am not that person.
I could be a problem solver. I could whip together a dinner using whatever ingredients were lying around. i could learn how to fix repairs and save myself money. I could know how to survive in the woods with no food or water. But I’m not that person.
I could belong to an organized religion. I could be a joiner and find comfort in the collective. I wouldn’t be so inquisitive and I’d accept simple answers to complex questions. I wouldn’t be so scared of dying because I would feel like I already knew what was going to happen. I could rely on a higher power in times of conflict. I could be fulfilled by going to church and reading scriptures. But I’m not that person.
Sometimes in order to figure out who you are you have to think about who you aren’t. I’m not any of the aforementioned things and sometimes that makes me sad and sometimes it makes me relieved. But creating this kind of list helps me feel okay about my choices and shortcoming and, in some cases, my strengths. In the wise words of Ashlee Simpson, I am me!
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This is the first part of a book that I am writing for Thought Catalog. This is a fiction book about young people in New York City. A lot of it is not fiction, and not made up, because I am not sure if I am very good at making things up.
The sad truth is that even if we were to invest all of our time and resources into making ourselves look like somebody else, most of us would not succeed in complying with the ridiculously unattainable beauty standard created by the media.
Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, but lately I’ve realized that sometimes you have to put in the effort yourself to make something you want to happen, happen.