“One must know what one wants to be.” Émilie du Châtelet
People said: ‘Oh, be yourself at all costs’. But I had found that it was not so easy to know just what one’s self was. It was far easier to want what other people seemed to want and then imagine that the choice was one’s own.
– Marion Milner
From the ever-wonderful Brain Pickings by Maria Popova (https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/10/11/a-life-of-ones-own-joanna-field-marion-milner/?mc_cid=af79031373&mc_eid=cf5fa29869)
Finding who I am in the world, rather than who others want me to be, is a continual process. I think it is for everyone. And, letting go of my own expectations for myself- based, of course, on others’ expectations of me – to learn who I really am has taken time, and has been one of the more challenging endeavors of my life.
I don’t think I could have had it all figured out in my twenties. Perhaps if I’d been more self-aware, I could have figured this out in my thirties. But as it is, I’m in my forties. Approaching true midlife, assuming I am fortunate enough to live a long life. Some days, I lament that it has taken so long for me to own who I am, for lack of a better phrase. Yet other days, I realize that without all the experiences and challenges I have faced, I would not be who I am today.
Evolution requires time, and thought, and the willingness to change. For me, it took more time than I anticipated.
I think I’m finally okay with that.
I think I’m finally okay with who I am.
Still evolving, of course.
But growing into being me – not someone else’s version of me.