I came across this question recently and I had to pause and think about me. Am I still the original me that God made so wonderfully and beautifully or have I become someone else the world has helped me mold? How much of who I am today is a product of the world and how much is mine? Have I allowed the wind of life to blow me anyway it pleases, got lost in the sea of life or do I still know and maintain the real me? Does it really matter which path I follow?

Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living, don’t you agree? I believe that from time to time we need to reevaluate our lives, have some time with ourselves. If I move through life as though I were on a roller coaster, I’d merely exist rather than live; my life would be a series of unconscious repetitions and mistakes. I’d be like a mad man, doing the same thing same way, over and over again and expecting a different result. If I am prone to living for others, trying hard to conform to the ways of my peers, neighbours, parents, colleagues without questions, within a matter of years, I’d realize that I have lost who I am and become who ‘they’ want me to be.

Emily Henry Gauvreau said,

I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need to impress people they dislike

Now, what kind of life is that? Living entirely for others rather than for oneself. Why do we live like that? I think it is because we are afraid of being ourselves, we are afraid that if we are ourselves, others will not appreciate us. Sometimes we wear clothes, talk in a particular way, eat some kind of food, go to certain school and so on because we need to follow the trend, we desire to be accepted. These affect even the kind of friends we keep, the spouses we choose for ourselves, if it were possible, we’d change even our parents to meet the world’s standards. I eat certain types of food when I’m out in public, dress in certain manner when going to some kinds of places with some kinds of people, I do not say what is really on my mind, I hide my own opinion and tout that of others because I am afraid of what these people will say. Is it that important that they ‘accept’ me?

I am a victim, and I am wondering, what will happen if I actually say my own mind, if I say the truth as I see it, if I cut/plait/colour my hair anyway I want without minding what my friends and church members will think of me? There are few people who do not give a damn, and I want to be one of them. Why should I let the opinion of others determine who I am and what I am? I am not being fair to myself at all. There is a greater joy in doing something because you want to do it, going to a particular place because that is where you want to go at that point.

If I am not aware of whom I am, I lack self-awareness, how do I even begin to know who I am and what I want? If I have self-awareness and lack self-confidence and self-love, it will still result to my doing things I detest to please the people I do not like. I have come to realize that the world will not end if I do things my own way, if I believe in myself and not look to others (who by the way are also foundering in darkness, trying to find their own way) to show me the way, the world will not come to an end, the sun will still shine, even brighter!

I have decided to never forget who I am nor allow others dictate to me whom I should be. How’s that for a change? Will that make me an awfully bad person?