This week I’ve been thinking a lot about who I was in high school and where I thought my life was going in comparison to who I am now and where my life is currently. Have you ever felt like you don’t recognize the person you used to be? Or even worse, that you don’t recognize the person you are now?
When I think about High School Eran, I definitely think I like myself more now. And I don’t necessarily mean that I like who I’ve become (although I do). But I actually LIKE myself, as in, I would be friends with myself ‘cause I think I’m pretty likeable! I don’t think I liked myself very much in high school. And strangely enough, I think I liked that I didn’t like myself. Confused yet?
Ugh. I say “like” too much. (ha! did that too much in high school too!)
But what’s really odd is that even though High School Eran was perhaps not super likeable (at least to me), she still knew who she was and where she wanted to go in life. Maybe none of those things were right – but they were DEFINITE.
I knew I was a band nerd. I knew I was a smartypants. I knew I was never going to be Ms. Popular at my school. I knew I would go away to university. I knew I could start over there, with a clean slate. I knew I would never take math or science again, even though I was good at it. I knew I would make a good teacher.
So, I look around me now and even though I’m content with my life and I have no real complaints, I still find myself asking “where did that girl go?”
In my grade 12 yearbook, each graduating student had a write-up which we wrote ourselves. I don’t remember much of mine, and I can’t find that yearbook in my stash, but I know I wrote something about Twinkies.
But I also included a little saying that I came up with myself that has actually been kind of speaking to me lately. It went something like, “Become who you are, not who you’re trying to be.” At the time, I thought I was being a bit of a superior know-it-all, sending out a smug message to those girls younger than me who insisted on dressing like hoochie-mamas (aka. the “Twinkies”).
But now, it’s kinda like I was almost speaking to my future self. I was speaking to 30-year-old Eran.
Huh. Who knew.
I always thought I’d know more now as an adult than I ever did as a teenager. And although I am content, I still feel far less aware of who I really am now than I was 10 years ago. I am far less definite.
It’s funny how things change; how we change; how the world around us changes and causes us to change. Maybe being definite isn’t the best thing to be after all. Maybe my identity is more fluid than that. Maybe I should stop thinking about it so much.
Instead I’ll just work on becoming who I am, and not who I’m trying to be.