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Be Who You Are

 
I went to the memorial service of my fellow lawyer, Trey on Monday.  It was not the funeral, but rather a rememberance hosted by the local bar association. I can’t say lawyers are a (completely) terrible group after today, because it was lovely, classy and wonderful things were said about Trey.
 
Trey wrote when he was thirteen years old and someone found it, and read it at the service.  The poem was about who he would be when he grew up.

“Maybe I’ll be a cop or a lawyer…
The Secret Service would be grand…”

Trey was the type of lawyer who loved the law and cherished being a lawyer. He fought for his clients and sought justice at every turn.  He wanted to be a part of the bar. And he knew it early.  (I like being a part of another type of “bar”….)

Who are you? Do you know who you really are?

At thirteen, I was writing poetry and short stories.  I was reading boring old classics like Wuthering Heights I wrote and wrote and read and read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I was also watching the O.J. Simpson trial like a hawk and reading Grisham novels.  The confusion for me was when I blended the two ….that I loved to write (English degree) and I loved to argue (not a reason to become a lawyer, by the way) and enjoyed watching Court TV (also not a reason to go to law school).

Staying true to myself would have led me down another path.  I imagine had I been “true” to myself, I would be single and childless. I would also be very poor writing for a magazine about now. Those things aren’t fatal, of course. But I might also collect unicorn figurines, drink vodka with breakfast, have 20 cats and live in a basement apartment in New Jersey.  Which would be crazy because I am allergic to cats and I don’t know anyone in New Jersey… the unicorns, however? Not too shabby.

However.  I am (very, very) grateful for the path I have taken, because it has led me to exactly where I am now.  Triathlon? I never would have imagined it would have happened. And it probably wouldn’t have but for the path I have walked.

Think about it.  If you had been “true to yourself” all along… would you be where you want? Or is the journey you have taken precisely what you needed?  Is that the true you?  How do you reconcile the two?

I have been battling this lately, and I have figured it alllll out. Oh yes, I have. (Okay, so not really. But I am getting there). 

Here’s what I have come up with. The balance and peace of where-I-am-to-where-I-want-to-be comes from:

1) Figuring out who I really am. What makes me tick? What do I love?  What are my strengths? My weaknesses?

2) Is it possible that right now… I am who I “really” am?  But just in need of some motivation?  Or, if not… am I on my way? Am I taking the right steps? Am I at least heading in the right direction to my real self?

3) Have I made peace with the past that may have led me astray from my true self?

4) Am I sincerely thankful for my journey to date?  Am I thankful everyday? What is stopping me from saying “thank you”? 

5)  If I am not on the right path, am I determined to change my path?  Have I laid all of my excuses to rest? Am I saying goodbye to the B.S. that makes me miserable?

You really have no idea who you are... until you've changed a tube.

Trey knew he wanted to be a lawyer. He had peace in being just who he wanted to be. I have always wanted to write.  I wanted to be athletic. I confused the lawyering somewhere in the heap of it all.  So I wanted to write and be athletic… hmmmm.

Looks like I am on the right path. It’s the journey. It’s MY journey. And I’m on it.

About as authentic as I get. Cammo, SBM gear and no makeup. Pre-spin. The happy hour of the day.

I would not change a thing – because all of my experiences have led me to here…and now.  And here and now – is exactly where I need to be.  I am not taking another day for granted. I swear it. Swear.

Figure out who you are and figure out where she ranks on the scale of “authentic” self.  Make peace with your past.  Be thankful for your blessings.  Move forward and take the brave steps to change what you know is not “you.”  Life is short. Take responsibility.  Be who you are, but be the best you possible.

11 Comments

  • LauraPh

    June 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Great post… if you don’t mind I will probably steal the theme for my own blog soon. The timing is perfect – I am going through my own little discovery process and someone asked me the same question this week… what did that little girl want?… well, I would be Gucci toting archeologist wearing red lipstick. VERY far from my world now:) Fun. I can’t wait to write my post. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
  • Cindy Bryl

    June 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you for this. I am ranking about an 8 out of 10 on my authentic self scale. And I say 8 because I know there are still many mountains to scale. I’ve always wanted to have a purpose and clarity. Once I became a mom my purpose was revealed. After my third child was born with Down syndrome a new clarity slowly emerged and continues to blend with my purpose. I am now walking the Faithful path of believers while educating others on Ds, raising money for Best Buddies (which educates and supports those with Ds), pursuing my Ironman dream, and proving that I can. And when I can’t, God can.

    Reply
  • Kay

    June 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks for posting-I too am on a journey to discovering myself. I made the statement the other day to my therapist that my life today is so not what I pictured when I was growing up. She asked the logical question, what did you picture? I can’t even say that I had a clear picture but this I know-I am making some changes. Your blog has inspired me so I thank you again for your insight. Now, about the job-I love my job but finally after about 27 years of doing it I feel like I have a good balance between life and my job. If I wasnt doing what I do (forensic DNA) I would love to write, much like you do.

    Reply
  • Mike

    June 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Sorry about Trey. These kind of things tend to make us step back and ponder things along with reminding us that life is short and we never know how short. I think these events also take a small piece of us with them. When friends die, I seem to change slightly, and never change back fully.

    Reply
  • Jenelle

    June 28, 2012 at 8:54 am

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this! GREAT perspective, we have a lot in common 🙂 (I want to write and be athletic too! Guess I better get off my own butt)

    Reply
  • Carrie @Tempo Life Coaching

    June 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Oddly enough, I think it’s the rare person who gets it right the first time around. We all walk a curvy path, picking up bits of who we want to be while discarding bits of who we don’t want to be. It’s all of life’s choices and experiences (good and bad) that get us to where we want to be.

    Reply
  • Jess

    June 29, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Love this post. I’m still figuring out what my passions are and now I’m inspired to dig deeper. Thanks for sharing your story.
    p.s. I’m from New Jersey, so now you know someone in NJ 🙂

    Reply
  • Carolyn Elliott

    July 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    This is the core stuff…the things that cause us to THINK about WHAT we’re about. Who we are today, what brought us here and where do we want to go from here while maintaining the balance of “Being Me” whoever that is.

    Thanks for your thought provoking post.

    Reply

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