How do you define a person? By their actions? By their thoughts? By their afflictions? By the people that they associate with? People define themselves, and others, in different ways.
When I was in high school, 20 years ago now, my last semester of my senior year I took a creative writing class. Our last assignment was to write a piece entitled “Who Am I?”
I blew the assignment out of the water. It was one of the things that I was most proud of for quite some time. Sadly, it was lost in one of my many moves. But I find myself wondering what I would write about if I was tasked with this today.
So here we go.
I wish that I could say that my most defining characteristic wasn’t my mental illnesses. I wish that I could say that it was my dark eyes or witty humor. I have both of those things, too, but to me, my most defining characteristic is something that you can’t see, and most people don’t know about. But I have been tempered in the fires of it. It is one of the major reasons why I am who I am. It has colored decisions I’ve made. It has forced aspects of my personality to be stronger than others just to survive.
But there other parts of me that, while maybe not as important, do deserve some recognition.
But you know what? I really can’t think of anything significant. One could argue that I’m kind, I’m driven, funny, compassionate, a good friend. But do any of these things really define me? How sad is it that at 37 I don’t know who I am? God, that’s depressing.
Well this took a drastically different turn than I thought that would. Apparently at 17 I was more in tune with myself than I am now.