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The Eclectic Pen - Who are we?

By: Tally R.   + 15 more  
Date Submitted: 3/27/2010
Last Updated: 3/27/2010
Words: 422

  From an early age, as young as we can comprehend speech we are introduced to the idea of defining ourselves. We hear others say, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or “What kind of person do you want to be?” This ideology roots itself into our bones and becomes our way of looking at the world. Instead of looking internally and being taught to love and appreciate the person that we already are, we tend to turn “Who do I want to be” into “Who SHOULD I be?” Where can I find the manual on how to be the person that everyone else wants me to be? I suppose I could turn on the TV, or pick up the magazine closest to me at the grocery store and be told, literally, in list form- how to be a certain person or accomplish certain things. Why does such a seemingly harmless question invoke such self loathing and feelings of inadequacy? At what point in our lives do we become the person that we wanted to be? When have we accomplished the goal of following our 10 year plan, gotten rid of every bad habit, lost the weight, had kids, married the perfect person, found the perfect job, made time for God? Why are we taught to base ourselves on accomplishments and good deeds, rather than measure our worth by being true to who we already are? Is there really always room for improvement- or are we just made to think that we are just barely balancing on the edge of imperfection. What is to be gained by searching your whole life for one’s true purpose? I am constantly feeling like I have to do something better with my life- or that I haven’t found what I really want to do. The truth is that I don’t know how to figure out what my purpose in life is. I don’t know who I am or what I want. I see the definition of myself in the eyes of others. I’m obliged to fit into the box that other people’s perceptions of me create. It’s an internal conflict that forces me to define myself in the way that other people see me instead of holding true to who I really think I am. It’s like; people are disappointed when they find out the person that I really am. Sometimes it is easier to stay in the box instead of challenging the definition that has already been laid out in my name.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Tally R.

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Barbara P. (gotchagal) - , - 4/1/2010 10:58 PM ET
Well done and well thought out. I really enjoyed this piece and would like to read more of your writing. Most of all, I found myself agreeing with all you said. I raised three daughters and prayed that they would never seek to determine their own worth through what others said or thought. Fortunately, they didn't. They are grown now, married and all mothers of teenage children. I know they worry and think about the same things I was concerned about. Life goes on and on, repeating itself, doesn't it? Barbara Gregory-Pearlman
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