Before I came to college, and many, many times since coming to college, I heard several variations of one single sentence, “You will find yourself.” And as I’ve thought long and hard about this oft used phrase, I have come up with a few different things.
First of all, to “find” something technically means that you lost it in the first place. Though, personally, I don’t ever recall being lost. Perhaps if we’re going to go along with this statement, the correct word to use would be “discover”.
But that leads me to my second point. Why is it that we all sit around and wonder so much? Coming from me, this is a ridiculously hypocritical statement. But, okay, just think about thinking for a minute. So much of our youth we waste wondering about who we are or what we’re doing or where we’re going or something like that. And for myself, I’ve discovered that that is simply not the way to do it. What is the point? I have finally realized that I just do not understand this whole “find yourself” concept. I think at the end of the day what we really mean when we say that, what we are really looking for, is to look at ourselves in the mirror and feel at home.
And I don’t think that that comes from going on a huge soul searching journey to “find” or “discover” who you are and what you want out of life. We know who we are. We know what we want. In the end, we all know these things. We know what we love, where we want to go, what makes us happy, what songs get stuck in our heads, what our favorite dessert is, and what makes us laugh at 3 a.m. We know who we are. What we do not know is what to do with it.
Because once you finally stumble upon yourself, that means that, ta-da!!! I’m here! Woohoo! Great! Nice to meet you, self!…or something like that. I think that this whole “find yourself” thing is really just a front. That may sound harsh, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but I really do think that. Because once you’ve supposedly found yourself, now what? What do you do once you’ve reached that point? You’ve spent such a long time being a lost soul and searching for something that you already had that once you have finally reached the top of staircase you stand on the landing and don’t know how to continue to the next floor. You’ve become so comfortable not knowing who you are that now you don’t know what to do with this person you just “found”. There is a fear in action. There is a fear associated with finally doing what you dream and being who you dream and daring to live the life you imagined. Taking that step comes from the courage and will to just do it. That is called finding your courage and having faith. Not finding something that was never lost.
You don’t have to be lost. You don’t have to go searching for yourself. You can decide that. You know who you are. What you are searching for is the courage to be who you are and do the things you dream of doing. The question is not, Who am I? But, Which door do I go through first?