It’s a day for introspection, my friends…
Before, after, and during my college years, I was told by many a new agey individual and philosophy teacher that I needed to “discover who I was” or “find myself” or get in tune with “my inner person” or whatever. The only thing about myself that I ever knew for sure was that I liked to write, I liked to make people laugh, and I didn’t want to rush off into marriage and five kids like the rest of my friends had. I didn’t believe in all that inner self crap. So although I was pretty confident that I knew who I was [after living with myself all those years] it sounded kind of entertaining… maybe, I’d find that I was cooler than I’d originally thought?
So as I set out on my self-discovering journey, I realized that trying to find myself was really just a whole lot of “hanging out“ and “gaining weight” and “drinking coffee while having delirious late night conversations” with random other people who also couldn’t find themselves. This all resulted in alot of deleriousness, altering of career paths, meaningless friendships, and relationship choices that would damage me for the better part of my life, which I would inevitably spend undoing all the things I’d done while finding myself.
Every person who is trying to find themselves thinks that they must live somewhere other than where they are currently living. You cannot possibly find yourself in your hometown, you have to go far, far away. I was no exception to this rule. Even though I’d never been on a plane and I couldn’t even drive to my next door neighbor’s house without getting lost, somehow, some way, one of my meaningless friends talked me into getting out of one of my damaging relationships by moving to Europe… this took place over a late night cup of coffee, of course.
After going away, traveling the world, partially losing my mind, realizing that Italy was all I had hoped it would be, turning down a proposal on the Eiffel Tower, and then coming back with a newfound sense of whatever, I had quite a bit going for myself. I had “discovered” a strapping young British lad who followed me back to states and was quite taken aback by my charming American accent [and the cheap cost of Midwestern living]. I quit college and started my own business. To my dismay, I didn’t then realize that strapping British lads are also quite good at disguising the fact that they are millionaires, heroin addicts and manic depressives. Oh well. I gave it the old college try.
Years later, after seven career changes and two business ventures, I finally became a writer.
So here I am, and after all these years of self-discovery I’ve come to realize the same thing I always knew: I’m a complicated, indecisive, independent girl who likes to write, and all of my experiences have led me back right to where I started.
That sure was a waste of time. But it was fun. Sorta.