'Finding yourself' is not really how it works. You aren't a ten-dollar bill in last winter's coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people's opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. 'Finding yourself' is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an evacuation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you. ~ Emily McDowellI totally agree that 'finding yourself;' isn't how it works. And I agree that I am not lost. But after that, McDowell loses me.
When was this time before the world got its hands on me? The world got its hands on me the moment I was born. But wait. In the womb I was affected by 'the world' - by my mother's world. By her food, by her state of health, by the noises in her world, by her emotional state and more: science has shown this. Even before the zygote, the gametes were affected by my parents' bodies and worlds, 'the world' got its hands on my DNA right back at the beginning of time!
It feels that the world has treated my lifeline the way a kitten plays with a ball of wool, so that there's that ragged indeterminate beginning, and a piece of yarn that will continue on, also indeterminately, where my genes and my actions in the world will mean that I will continue on after death in the lives of others.
It seems to me, that all that handling by the world has made me exactly who I am now. That I have made it through so far, through all the ups and downs, the tangled and the breaks and joins, and the thing to do is to accept that who I am now is the sum total of all that. But it's not the end. Once I accept that, I am free to do and be whatever comes next.
I don't want to deny and dismiss my past to find who I was way back when: I want to find out who I am in the present, and look forward to who I can be tomorrow - or even later today.
This is to remind me of all I have gone through to get to this point, to remind me to keep going, to remind me that even when it seems like there is no way out of the tangle, I've managed it every time for 67 years so I may as well keep trying. And if all else fails, I can grab some felt tip pens and colour in the scribble drawing.