It sounds dramatic, doesn't it, when I say that I don't know who I am? But notice that sentence. It started off with some self-deprecation and an accusation: You probably think I'm just being dramatic when I say this. Because I expect you to think: Oh, she's overstating the case. How could she not know who she is? She has such a strong personality. She's just having one of those bad days or weeks or years. She'll come along.
One of the ways that I am learning who I am is by taking my own feelings seriously. Trying to leave off disclaimers like, "This probably sounds silly, but . . ." or "You're probably right. I don't really feel that way."
My counselor told me, "I admire you for staying with your pain." Taking my pain seriously is what got me into this mess in the first place. So it must be a good mess. It's a me mess. Somewhere in this mess of emotion and experience and what I've felt and what I was supposed to feel is me. If I take the time to honestly feel and follow my emotions, I might untangle the mess. And in the process I might discover myself.
Honestly, I never would have thought I would say stuff like this. I have always cared so deeply about my identity. I've stood on it, spoken it, written about it. This is who I am. But under that bold statement was this truth: If I don't define myself, then everything inside will be formless.
Diving into that formless void is so scary. But I know that if I go down far enough, my feet will find something solid, a little bit of land to stand on. And that's where I'll build from.