Self identity is a tricky subject.
How do you see yourself? How do you believe other people see and think about you?
Growing up my whole life I was a baseball player, this was my whole identity.
At least to me it was.
It never occurred to me that to everyone else I ever came into contact with, I was something other than that.
A son, a brother, a friend, a co-worker, a stranger...
I worked my whole life to be what I was, to get to be a "college baseball player"
Until one day, I was abruptly injured and ultimately ended my identity as a "baseball player".
I was no longer a "baseball player" and I was now lost. With no identity. It was crushing inside and I had no idea where to go from there. It was strange, and even though it made absolutely no difference to my friends, family, and other people around me, I felt like everyone looked at me different now. Because I felt like my whole identity was gone.
When, in all reality, a piece of me was just put on the shelf, a chapter was just closing, and it was just time to move on to something new. But it took me a long time to realize and understand that, because for my whole life, that was my life.
What I have learned from this experience, is that you should never strive to be SOMETHING.
I don't mean that in the cliche's of "'be yourself", "be unique", "different is okay".
Those are all fine and dandy, but those are not the type of "be you" I mean.
Be you, meaning:
All of these "things" you want to be, all of these goals you have for yourself, all of these things you work so hard to be good at.... They are all just pieces of you. They are not YOU. They do not make you who your are, they are not what the people around you care about (and if it is, move on from those people).
You are the kindness you show, how hard you work, how resilient you are in the face of conflict, the energy you bring to life, the smiles you give, and the genuine meaning of your words and actions.
Don't be something...be YOU.