Life is about finding yourself – is it, though?
For years I was caught up in this idea that I had to find myself. I was obsessed with trying to get back to this younger version of myself where I felt had peaked. I spent nights crying myself to sleep because I could not find myself. I spent days aimlessly wandering around trying to find this idealized idea and somehow make it fit into my life. But as we can all guess, that never actually happened. I never “found” myself the way everyone claimed I would. All this made me do was hold onto a past version of myself that no longer aligned with who I was or who I was becoming.
I held onto this idea because that’s all I ever knew. From Pinterest to Instagram to general conversations with friends, we were all led to believe that life was about finding yourself. We thought that one day we would stumble across this version of ourselves we once loved and immediately return to being that person. As I got older, I started to realize that all I was doing was holding myself back from enjoying the present and looking forward to the future – I had planted myself in the past and slowly but surely, I realized that it was not doing anything good for me.
Here’s the thing, life is not about finding yourself. When we ask people to find themselves, what exactly are they looking for? A version of themselves they used to be. It seems odd that the idea of finding ourselves suggest that we can g back to our past selves and embody them when undoubtedly, so much has changed.
So, I propose we change how we understand our life and who we are. Instead of aiming to find yourself, what if we made life about creating ourselves? What if we focused our energy on learning from the past and moving forward? What if we built who we wanted to be every single day?
Life is not about finding yourself. That idea implies that there was a better version of you that existed once upon a time and makes you forget that the best is yet to come. The best is yet to come if you create and build it.
Creating yourself leaves you with endless options of what you can create and who you can become, and those endless possibilities are one of the most beautiful gifts that life has to offer. Focus your energy on creating who you want to become and know that who you are right now is more than enough. Your past does not define you.
Personally, when I started shifting away from the idea of finding myself, I almost felt relieved. I felt like I had gained back some agency in my life like I was finally the one steering the ship. Creating yourself is about doing whatever the heck you want. It is about creating who you want to become and loving yourself in the process. Finding yourself might be great in some circumstances, but you have the option and agency to create who you want to be and the life you want to live.