Who Am I? What do I like? What am I passionate about? What do I DO?
Who are you? Tell me about yourself. How would you describe yourself? Can you?
Have you ever seen Anger Management when Dave (Adam Sandler) goes to the group therapy session? For most of my adult life I have felt just like Dave when therapist Buddy keeps asking him to “tell us about yourself”. He stumbles through answer after answer getting more and more frustrated as he is told those aren’t the “right answers”. “By golly just leave him alone!” I scream at the screen. “Maybe he just doesn’t know!” I’m doing a fantastic job of doing what therapists call projecting my feelings. Ironic.
This ridiculous movie tangent is purely to illustrate how I could not really tell you who I am and what makes me- ME- until this year. Really. Do you struggle to answer that question as I did? Without just saying a wife, a mom, a sister etc. Listing a job title or position, a hobby, or just shrugging the question off altogether? Not that those things aren’t who we are! They are. But if you can read a little bit between the lines here with me maybe you’ll read what I mean? What makes you excited? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What motivates you to do all those jobs and be in those relationships right there? How do you do YOU amidst all of that? How do you find joy?
I did not have a tragic upbringing. I had a really great one actually with a loving family and awesome parents. Normal teenage trials and drama. Normal teenage and young adult mistakes for the most part. Went to college. Got married. Graduated. Moved a bunch of times following a great man around to school and residency and jobs. Had kids along the way. I lived. I lived and loved and did….and then discovered one day that I had been doing just that. Living and doing- but had no idea what I was BEING. I couldn’t describe to one soul what made me- ME. I got up in the morning to my kids and to my tasks. I began some soul searching and started asking myself some questions.
How do I find more joy? How do I get where I think it is I want to go? How do I get out of this stupor? Get out of this daily survival mode? How do I live more intentionally? How do I become the kind of mom, nay woman, I want to be?
How, how, how. I don’t know about you but I can see whats and whys and whos all over the place, but HOW to actually do leaves me baffled a lot of the time.
So I started researching-naturally right?! I started book after book after book on happiness, finding yourself, essentialism, living simply, tidying up, less is more…etc. Blogs and articles abounded. Why do I ramble on about this? Because. I’ll tell you the one thing they all had in common (well at least by half way cuz- confession- I’ve only actually finished like
5 8 of the books…)
Every single author came to the same point. You have to know who you are, or what your core values are, in order to make the decisions necessary to evaluate your life and everything in it. I kinda wish they would have put in bold print on the first page something like: “Before we begin go figure out what your core values are!” But I digress.
THAT IS HOW.
That is how we begin this journey. That is the crucial first step. That is how you find out who you are. What makes you tick. What will launch you out of bed in the morning. It all starts with figuring out your authentic core values. I had some a-ha moments that really lit up the value path. You can read about them, Oh, and two ways you can find your own HERE!
Grab that pen and paper.
Happy Soul Searching!