Now that I have so many pieces to the puzzle, I’m realizing that they don’t fit to form only one picture. All of these Pivotal Moments helped shape me into who I am today, but it doesn’t automatically determine who I am tomorrow. I know that I struggle with connection, so it’s become a discipline: I can recognize when I wear a facade or subtly avoid eye contact; I understand why I surrounded myself with certain types of people which enables me to be more discerning going forward; I contribute despite fear, confide despite discomfort – and show up for life as best I can.
So if I can change the consequence of an experience, does it make me, me?
I still have a fortress, but it’s less secure than it used to be. And I know that every scar is a badge of honor, every struggle imported its share of wisdom.
The more I explore who I am, the more I believe it comes down to how I choose to live. I did a meditation that asked me to note my values. I finished the meditation and Googled “values.” Once I identified what mine were, I considered if I was living and representing myself according to those values. So (today) I’m the person with integrity, with compassion, the person who cares about being a good human and the one working towards self acceptance. One of my professors ridiculed me for this sentiment. I hope his wisdom comes easier to him than mine did. Contemplating what’s important to you and whether or not you are living in alignment with those standards should be taught in school.
Recently I had fallen asleep while watching Derek DelGaudio’s In and Of Itself (which should not be taken as a critique of the movie, I highly recommend it) and I woke up just as Derek was saying “True identity is that which exists within one’s own heart and is seen by another.” I felt like I was meant to wake up at that exact moment, to hear that exact phrase.
Last Christmas (2020) a colleague sent me a text that read: Merry Christmas! Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. You’ve been a major impact in my life and I appreciate you.
I suspect this text says more about him than me, but it does remind me to always put forward my best. We never know how something we say or do will affect someone else. I’d rather cause a ripple than a scar.
Does this contribute to what makes me, me? I sure hope so.
Pivotal Moments is a collection of experiences that contribute to who I am. Have you considered what makes you, you?