February 24, 2013

Who Am I?

I'm 26, and yet it sometimes feels like I don't even know who I am. I know who I am, but I have no idea who I can be. I know what I want to be, but not who I want to be. The difference between what and who are connected but so very different. How do I learn who I want to be?

What I want to be:
I want to live in New Hampshire. I want to be married to a man I love equally as he loves me. I want to work for the same non-profit I work for now, helping people with disabilities. I want to own a mini cooper and a nice bungalow craftsman style home. I want to spend my spare time working on presidential campaigns, meeting the men and women who want to run the country.

That is what I want to be.

Who I want to be:
A good person.

There should be more than that. There must be more than that. There needs to be more than that.

My problem, I think, is that I spend far to much time on the outward expressions: what I wear, what my title is at work, who I spend my time with, and what others think of me. I have built a kind and gentle hearted guy, who is sensitive to others needs and wants. I am someone whose parents are complimented on having raised such a nice young man. But I have no inner drive—beyond getting all of these things of what I want to be. I have no inner drive of who I want to be.

How does one get that? Where does one get that? What do I need to change or start or stop to get that?


  1. I think it is a combination of doing what you do well on a daily basis, plus working on some well-defined goals that help you grown as a person.

    My brother-in-law recently retired. He is considered a legend in his former career due to his influence on young people. He never planned to be a legend. He just did a very good job each day and over 40 years it aggregated into being a legend.

    From what I know of you through your blog I think you are a good person.

  2. I really like that distinction between who and what. I had never thought of it that way, but I feel like I'm going through a similar problem right now. I have two possibilites for *what* I can be (in terms of career and lifestyle), which are very different. I want to say I know who I am enough to decide between them, but the truth is that I don't. I've been in both positions before, more or less, and I've been happy in both, but I am a very different person in each. I realize that the who stems from the what, but I don't know which version of me I like more...

    Clearly, I don't have this figured out, but from what I've been thinking about lately, it seems that once you become what you are (or will be), it will become more clear who you are and who you want to be. I don't think "self" is clearly defined enough to exist outside of one's circumstances. Worry about becoming what you want to be now. You can figure out who at each stage along the way. And sometimes you probably won't realize who you were until you pass that phase of your life.

  3. @ Dean Scott - Thank you. I agree, who are what you do, like your brother-in-law.

    @ Evan - Time is needed. I am young and have a lot of life to live still. You are correct, when we look back we will know who we are. Thanks.