It’s true, the only constant is change.
But, this basic truth runs up against the premium our society places on “knowing you who are”. The idea of knowing yourself, knowing your purpose, knowing what makes you happy and what you want is constantly being pumped through the air it seems. So much so that it leaves many of us with book shelves full of self help books and heads full of anxiety. But knowing who you are is not a one and done adventure.
I’ve fallen victim to this ever searching, individualistic focus many times in life. Usually, the quest leaves me wondering if I’ve ever really known myself or how I lost myself along the way. It’s taken me 30 years to understand that I’ve never lost myself, I’ve just evolved.
Sometimes you have to reintroduce yourself to yourself.
I knew who I was at 18.. I was young and carefree. I was queer, black and happy. I was the free boobing girl with red locs and an eyebrow ring sitting outside my dorm smoking bidis and blacks with the boys, writing poetry by moonlight with my home girls and talking about black liberation and hip hop with kings who respected that I was more into women than they were but kept themselves optimistic I’d change my mind. All I wanted to be at 18 was free.
I knew who I was at 21… I was healing. I had just figured out what love really meant and what it didn’t. I was on my grind, taking 18 credits when I only needed 13 while working full time. I was living on my own for the first time and making all my own money and decisions (good and bad, including breaking hearts bc I could). All I wanted to be at 21 was free.
The years between 21 and 30 were more of a blur. This is when my obsession with “finding myself” lead me down roads to dead ends. I was so preoccupied with figuring things out that I forgot to just be.
Now at 30, it’s time for another reintroduction. I know who I am now. I am a storyteller and a warrior for speaking truth to power. I’m a woman learning to choose self over others. I’m a survivor of generalized and social anxiety, learning to be my imperfect self no matter how scary that is. I’m the woman that knows she’s great but can’t fully embrace it yet. I have big dreams and a big heart.
And all I want to be is free.