Created By Me

November 30, 2010
I felt as if the quote on the magnet was speaking directly to me: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.” I remained in my seat, a little dazed. It was incredibly obvious and true; I wondered how I had not realized it myself. In my mind, I rapidly went through the past couple of weeks and it occurred to me that I had been on the verge of delusion that there was this “me,” and that I had not found her yet. All of a sudden, the clutter in my mind started to gradually disappear. My previously gloomy, dimly lit future began to have a glow and I was on my path to defeat the common teen affliction of identity crisis.

When I was in the fourth grade, I proudly told my mom with confidence, “I’m going to become a teacher, an artist, and a writer.” I felt that my skills and knowledge would be best used in the combination of those three careers. Over time, those desires that had made me passionate about my future drifted away until I found myself on an island of enigmas without a way off. I could not see the path beyond one step and it was shrouded in a mist of bafflement, anxiety, and stress. My heart pounded wildly whenever I thought about my life. What was I going to do after I took the much anticipated journey of college? If as a junior I did not know what I wanted to become, how was I supposed to plan for the future? There was such an innumerable list of possibilities, that I had difficulty figuring out what was right for me. For weeks, I would lie on my bed and stare into the vast, black space that seemed to represent my life.

At school I am the responsible and taciturn student. That has been me since the beginning of middle school. Only my closest friends know how much I love to entertain others and how crazy I become when effervescent. There are times when I will chatter endlessly, jump around, and laugh until my friends think I am a lunatic. However, high school became a place where I was an undercover spy; a person with a disguise to hide from others. The image of me being a quiet girl clung to me like a shadow that I could not simply wave away. Inside me, I could feel my true self wanting to break out and stand proudly in front of others. These feelings swirled around in my mind and would try to pounce onto any opportunity to come out. But I feared how my peers would view me, and remained silent. I would observe the gregarious, loud, and smiling girls that flaunted their self-confidence. Why could I not be like them? All I did was wish that maybe, in a few years, I could be like those girls. I felt that I was bound to the labels given by others and that to break free, I would have to wait until college. Maybe then, I would be able to find myself.

I had been pondering my life because I needed to find meaning of what I was doing. What was the point of me going through the quotidian activities of my life if there was no grand purpose? Somehow, after reading the quote, all the amorphous, nascent thoughts floating around in my head seemed to take shape. I took the thoughts and stacked them up like bricks until I had built a complete answer. There was no reason for me to feel as if I had not discovered my true self. Simply, it was because I had not created one yet. I had been wasting my time searching for clues that would lead me to who I was, rather than taking the opportunity to develop myself. If I wanted to be like those self-assured girls, I had to declare to myself that I was and believe in it. I was the only one culpable for acting like the girl defined by society. It was well past the time that I needed to stop being pusillanimous about how people would perceive me, and take the chance of forming me into who I wanted to be. I needed to take risks and be active in my own life, rather than hoping for events to occur.

I understand that it may have seemed logical for me to simply ask for advice from my friends or family. However, the process of realizing through my own thinking has helped me achieve greater satisfaction on the first step of defining who I am. Also, I understand myself more than I did before. I know why I behave a certain way in situations, what I am capable of, and how I think. Back then, it would have been much too complex to attempt to explain to others what I was going through because even I did not comprehend it. To me, it had been a hazy time period in which I was desperate for someone to save me. I was able to pull myself out of it and now, I am on the roller coaster that we call life, enjoying the ups and downs because from every experience I am able to define who I am. The more control I take of my own life, the more choices I have of what kind of person I aspire to be. I learn what makes me happy and strive to remain that way.

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