For the past several months, I’ve been struggling with an old issue with a new face.
Am I really me?
You see, in all my adventures of psychology and therapy, working through problems and such, I have often become stuck on the idea that perhaps, just perhaps, my biggest problem is that I have allowed other people to define me, or at least my actions.
And so, as I try to work through who I am, how I feel about myself, and who I want to be in the future, I keep smacking into this issue of internal vs external influences.
I’ve had people tell me before, and I’ve read before, that an easy way to figure out who you are is to notice how you act when you’re alone. And I’ve always kind of scoffed at that – because how you act when you’re alone isn’t even really acting at all. You do things when you’re alone, but you take action when you’re around other people. So I always kind of counted that out.
And while I’m still skeptical of this idea of defining yourself during your alone time, I had a moment this morning.
There I was, sitting in one of the slots at the Sonic down the street from my house, dressed in a BMS shirt, a Mizzou hoodie, and a lime green pea coat, awaiting my Diet Dr. Pepper with diet cherry syrup when “Juicy” came pouring out of my speakers. What did I do? I put the YA Steve Jobs biography I was reading back in my Westie bag, cranked the volume and sang along. There may also have been some in-car dancing occurring.
The Sonic girl, of course, came to the window laughing and handed me my drink, saying, “I love that you’re just, like, owning this morning.”
I smiled and thanked her, and at that exact moment, I realized that maybe there was something to how I acted when I was alone. Because there in the car, I was having a quintessential “ME” moment. Everything counted – from what I was wearing to the book to the song. Even my drink.
So in truth, I wasn’t owning the morning, I was owning myself.
I realized that maybe I do know who I am, and I should just let myself act however I want without analyzing it every second of the day. Because that’s a whole lot more fun.