Here is a easy not easy question for you, Do you know yourself? Now, majority of individuals will blurt out “Yes” right out the gate but I implore you to dig a little deeper. The molding of my character began in my youthful ages, before I had opinions and goals. Others burdened me with opinion’s of what they felt were best for my future. When I first challenged myself to discover who I was, my emotions overwhelmed me. It was after a long hot shower when I found myself staring into a foggy mirror and I felt my temperature rise. My right eye was twitching (happens when I get upset) as I gripped the counter top. Probing for the person that had been suppressed years ago and it was actually very intense… lets dive in.
Have you carved out time in your life to discover yourself?
I had the blessing of being home schooled in my younger years by my mother. Educated in the comfort of a familiar space I knew to be safe, loving and judgment free. Where my teacher had the upmost patience because she sincerely loved and cared about me. When it was time for me enroll in public school it was a drastic mind change. All of sudden, I had to be a “good student” in a bland room with uniformed desks surrounded by other children I’ve never met in my life “welcome to public schooling” that looked nothing like my two sisters or mother.
There was no comfort, no warmth, no support or true concern. Just learn the lesson and move on to the next dry class room. Grade school was a living nightmare for me. My brain was defragmented and I was reprogramed into a system where everyone learned the same things, did the same things and individualism was frowned upon. I was becoming another cog in the wheel, it was no wonder I hated school. Middle and High school felt liked being push through a cookie cutter (suppressed) until I graduated. But there was always College right? Nowhere in my twelve years of public schooling did anyone sit me down and ask who I was. Truly, the only concern was to graduate.
Public schooling is a factory. You go in an Individual and you come out a product.
I wanted to be an animator, my passion for the arts was always strong and my parents said it was the gift I was blessed with. I wish someone had informed my college professors in my first year. I was so excited about college; it was the first time in my life I would be able to study and partake in courses’ that truly resonated with me. The hype was real until it wasn’t. I didn’t get the memo it seemed, the only way to succeed in the art world was to create the content you were directed to. You could do things you’re way after you graduated. Wait, but it’s my money paying for these classes yet I can’t draw, paint, write, illustrate or speak the way I feel? I thought art was about free expression. Hmmm… another part of me had been suppressed.
So my last hope of identifying myself was within my relationships. I grew up watching my mother and father, this amazing couple who have such a rich and emotional story. I might tell their tale in the future but for now, they married at nineteen on May 03, 1982. I opened my eyes May 23, 1982 as the first of four children. I watched my parents endure every struggle you could think of pull through it even stronger. That strength laid the foundation of what I wanted my relationships to be modeled after. So imagine how heart crushing it was when I found myself divorced. Few weeks shy of my second anniversary to a woman I dated since my senior year of high school. This tragedy was followed up by a second rocky marriage and a second divorce two and a half years’ after the birth of my only child. Here I was broken, depressed, feeling lost and grim with defeat. Everything I knew myself to be had failed me. I was now fully submerged in what I and my close friends call the “Gravel Pit” I couldn’t see any way out of this dark place.
The Reset Button
Four to five months I slept in the guess room of my friend’s mother’s home feeling broken, ashamed, and depressed but still pushing trying to make sense of it all. Within this time frame I had been informed the company I was working for had been bought out. Now I was not only getting divorced for the second time I was also going to be unemployed within a few months. The vehicle I was driving was giving me major issues, and I wasn’t able to see my daughter as much as I would have liked.
Fast forward and I now have an apartment, new job, and in all reality this was the first time I had ever lived on my own. There were no attachment to a partner, I was free of everything. Why was I depressed still, drowning in darkness letting go of the morals I had stood on all my life, why? The answer: I didn’t know how to live for myself. I didn’t know how to be a single man with no attachments. This was the defining moment for me. The light bulb not only lit up, it blew every fuse in my system. I was “RESET”.
Needless to say the next two years were amazing. My growth as a man doubled, I experienced new things, became a gym rat, hung out at Bars for the first time, played the field and met new people. I also learned what my flaws were via self-help and motivational books, therapy and conversation. My eyes were opened and I felt rejuvenated. I made the choice to put myself first and that one decision changed me for the better.
Learn to love Yourself
If you leave with anything from this canvas of words let it be this. Don’t let too much time pass by before you make an effort to learn who you really are and what you really love. Three key points that helped me were, discovering what mad me happy and removing the things that did not add to my happiness. Admitting my flaws and trying to change the bad habits I had. I found something to identify with which made me feel like I was part of something greater then myself. Learn how to love yourself and appreciate the simple things in life. Time is a precious commodity we can’t get back… Use it wisely.
Thanks for the time you have given me today… Sincerely