What made you who you are?
My last post made me think. How did I get to be the person I am today? It is not the first time I have thought about it, but it is a question that I like to mull over.
Who am I? Do I like who I am? Am I the person that I want to be? It is like the classic quote from Pirkei Avot, paraphrased here:
“A man receives three names:
The name his parents give him at birth,
The name his friends call him by,
And the name he calls himself.”
To me it is one of the most important and profound things I have ever heard. Character, integrity, are you a mentsch. Who are you and is your image of yourself in line with reality. That is, do people see you as you see yourself and how important is that.
To me it is a balance. You shouldn’t listen to what everyone says about you. But at the same time you should have some people in your life who you can trust to be honest in their opinions about you. People who can tell you when you are acting like an ass.
So if I have to try and give an honest description of myself I would include these thoughts:
Determined, fiercely loyal, stubborn, very sensitive- perhaps too sensitive. I carry past hurts with me for longer than I should, at times I am a dreamer, I am cautious and guarded, I have a wild streak in me and am capable of doing things that just make your jaw drop. Some are good and some are not so good.
I push the envelope, test limits everywhere in people and places. It is not always a good things, sometimes I have trouble knowing when to stop. I love to laugh, just love humor.
When I feel things, I feel them with intensity and passion. I like to think of myself as being cerebral and thoughtful. I am always interested in learning more about life, people and myself.
I compose on the computer and rarely edit anything I write. I don’t like going backwards and posts like this can make me very uncomfortable as I can be very self-conscious.
So if you are wondering why I engage in this kind of thought, it is for two reasons. I am always interested in growing as a person and I happen to think that introspection is good for that.
Beyond that I hope that I can find something in my experience that I can offer to my children, some kind of life lesson that helps them avoid some of my stupid mistakes.