Sometimes when I sit and think about my life, I have to laugh at the irony that I am working for a company that encourages people to “Define Yourself” because I feel like, for the last 35 years, I have been on an endless journey of trying to define myself. Oh Life, you are so funny…
All through elementary school, I struggled to fit in – the stereotypical smart Asian girl with two pigtails in a sea of Caucasians, teacher’s pet in most classes, and few friends.
In high school, I never really fit into one particular group –acquaintances with all but friends with none, I attached myself to one close friend, and together we did our own thing, trying to discover who we were and what we wanted out of life.
Back then I defined myself by the activities I was involved in – Colorguard, drama class, Madrigals, the campus Christian club, youth group, etc.
When I got to college, I was still fairly naive and sheltered having grown up in church and instilled with the Asian values of bringing honor to the family. I was always brought up to believe that I was measured by a higher standard and that, for the most part, kept me out of trouble. I wrapped myself up in church activities, leading youth groups, singing in choirs or in a band,
Still, I continued to define myself with my activities. I started making a few more friends and met the man who would become my first boyfriend. Because I still didn’t really know who I was, my life was wrapped up in my activities and now I also sought my identity in my relationship with my boyfriend, who would later become my husband and now ex-husband.
In my twenties, I became the title on my business card in addition to the activities and the people I surrounded myself with. So, in essence, I was the sum total of what everyone told me I was and I was okay with that. I could hide in those activities and not really have to look any deeper in defining this complicated being…until my world and everything I knew and found security in came crashing down around me.
In the last 6 years, I have been hiding from myself deliberately. After all these years of defining myself by the outside influences that surrounded me, I realized that to really define myself, I had to take a deep look at me…and that scared the crap out of me. So I ran. I piled more activities on top of the ones I already had, I made more and more friends, and I accumulated more business cards with new titles.
I am now 35 years old. I have officially reached “middle age” and it is time I stop, dig deep, find the courage and the strength to face the fear of figuring out who I am head-on. It’s time to REALLY define myself. Thanks for being a part of my journey.
2 thoughts on “Define Yourself”
wow. deep, as usual. just remember… you don’t have to stick with one definition. Let it shift and change just as YOU do. I find it crazy sometimes that no matter WHAT we tell others (and try to tell ourselves), deep down, we WANT to be defined. Because then it means we actually fit in somewhere.
I’m so saddened to hear of you going through tough times. From my own experience, if you don’t put first things first, you will lose all the second and third things. But…when you put first things first ((God)) in ALL that you do, all the second and third things will fall into place. Hope that makes sense.