I am sure we all agree that awareness comes in time. I am also sure that awareness comes in stages. For example, I was more aware of my surroundings when I was younger. I was more aware of fashion and flash and glory. I was a younger person in search of thrill and thrill-seeking things, like, how fast can I go or how can I push my adrenaline to the highest peak.
Now I am less aware of things that divide the crowds or the status of social popularity which at one point was something that mattered to me. But simply, the older I become, the more I find myself completely unaware of new technology or how to use it. The more I advance, the more I move away from unimportant ideas that crippled me in the past.
I am physically different from who I was. I am culturally different; yet, I am still the exact same person in the flesh. I have the same arms and the same legs. My back and my knees do not work as well as they used to but they are the same. My eyes are the same but they see differently now. My hairstyle has changed several times. The color has changed too but fortunately, the grays have not taken over my hairstyle.
In some cases, I swear that my level of awareness has improved and in others, perhaps I have become desensitized. Perhaps, this was true when I was “Lost” per se. Maybe this is true when I was trying to “Find myself.” Maybe everything I was looking for was a dishonesty or an error in my thinking.
I never had a guru or spiritual advisor. At least, not really. When I was young, my advisors had long hair and wore t-shirts with the names of bands on them. So I thought, this is how I am supposed to be. I thought if I played along that I would eventually find happiness. But something was off-center. Something was not fitting and I couldn’t understand what or why. Rather than understand that my position did not fit me, I tried harder to adapt. I would literally forfeit pieces of myself to become more acceptable; as if me being myself was unacceptable, which is an absolute lie. But I didn’t know that. I tried other advisors. But their opinions did not benefit me nor did they encourage or empower me. Instead, I found myself reeling and wondering why I couldn’t be more like them.
I never found a place where I fit, as in seamlessly, or without ruffles. In fact, I used to shave the edges of my squared sides to fit through round holes. I used to change my shape or size, just so I could fit in.
And then one day, I stopped.
I looked around.
I realized that who I was became distant from who I’ve always wanted to be. I stopped looking for the perfect fit. I stopped chasing the perfect surroundings and decided to change my sense of consciousness.
Rather than turn or run from myself; I decided to address myself, which is odd to say.
In fact, this is as odd as saying, “I want to find myself” when meanwhile; wherever I go, there I am.
The questions of what am I or who am I are perhaps lifelong and unending. Therefore, I am lifelong and unending; at least in some regards.
I am not who I was when I was 10 years old. I am not who I was when I was 20 or 30 or 40 years old. I am a continual change and an evolution of self.
I am no longer afraid of the Boogeyman or the ghost stories from my youth but I still have fears and discomforts about the dark. My fear of crowds and people are still relevant. They’re not as crippling as they used to be. I had to learn different routines and practice different ideas to help me overcome my old phobias that were so unsettling.
My approach to my mental health and emotional fitness is certainly different from the times when I was at the bottom. There was no way out at the time and no way to stand back up. There was nowhere left to fall; yet somehow, whether this was because I always had the ability to overcome or I found it, I learned the secrets of how to endure.
I do not envy this position. I did not ask to think or feel or believe the way I did. Besides, no one asks for this. No one asks for depression. No one asks to believe poorly about themselves. No one wants to be rejected. Whether we ask for this or not, these are the most common hurdles we face in our society. Depression is common. Anxiety attacks are common. Insecurity is common and so are the irrational fears which we all have. They may differ but everyone has a quandary of their own.
I often talk about the feeling or the need to find and answer. I often talk about needing to find accountability when something goes wrong or does not fit. Sometimes, it’s as simple as that. Sometimes, we just don’t fit. And that’s fine.
No, really. It’s the truth.
There is no law that says we have to be like anyone else. There is no rule that says our differences are not extraordinary or beautiful.
I am a person who struggled to find myself. I am a person who thought there was something missing but there was not. I am a person who never understood that we have absolutely everything we need to be successful. The miscalculation is that we are looking at success through the measuring glass of comparison. I do not compare anymore, nor should I compare myself.
I am a person who can walk. I can run (if I have to). I can climb stairs. I can feel things with my fingers and hold things in the palms of my hands. To me, these are simple things. Then again, I was never told I would be paralyzed, which means I do not understand the victory of wiggling my big toe after being told that this was impossible.
We all have our own challenges. We all have our own crosses to bear. So then why compare? Why argue? Why do we fight with each other? And why do we try so hard to be who we naturally are, which is us.
I came to a turning point in which I understood that living a counterfeit life is not living at all. I came to a realization that existing and living is not the same thing. I have always existed. But did I always live? What changed?
I have heard people say, “Never forget who you are” and thought to myself is this even possible? I could never forget who I am. More accurately, I remembered every flaw and defect, which of course, this is what I was trying to cover. I remembered every detail from my past and my regrettable yesterdays but I lost sight of my future. I lost sight of my present because I was always living in regards to something that was no longer changeable. I lost so much time on this that I never learned how to fall in love with my future.
I am a shape and form. I am an ongoing process, which is lifelong.
This had to come from within.
See, I am like anyone else here. Just trying.
Learning. Living. Working on a trick to pull off before the curtain goes down.
It’s amazing though when you find the door to yourself and walk through.
And you say to yourself, this is it.
This is exactly where I belong.
It’s amazing because no one can take this away or change it.
Once we realize that we have the right to free ourselves to do, be, think, feel and create the life we want – nothing can stop us.
A person can spend their entire life searching for themselves. Meanwhile, they were looking in the wrong places the entire time.
The search is YOU.
And believe me, it’s closer than you think.
You are always the square root to your own equation.
Don’t let anybody ever tell you differently.