I’ve been listening a lot to Tony Robbins lately, mainly because he’s in that new Kobe commercial. I generally tend to think motivational speakers such as Mr. Robbins are a bit of a hokey gimmick, but most of what he says is pretty similar to what I’ve already learned. He did say one thing that made me actually stop my car on the side of the road and cry for a good six to ten minutes. And it’s so stupid because you’d think everyone would know the answer to this question, especially a moderately established mother in her thirties.
Who are you?
I can’t even begin to answer this question. All those little boxes that I had to check when I did my taxes hardly define who I am. This is what made me cry, the sheer magnitude of trying to figure this out is just overwhelming. Sure, I know my labels, but is that who I am? Even sitting here, trying to find words to describe the disequilibrium that I felt makes my stomach hurt. It’s not like I’ve never thought about it before. I enjoy self-assessment. Personality tests and brain function quizzes are exciting. I always feel I will unlock some great mystery that will set me free. That I will learn something so profound, and all my insecurities will melt away and it will just click in my brain. This is who I am.
As I was sitting in my car on the side of the 215 freeway, listening to Tony Robbins, I had this urge to write down everything I know about myself. Like in a panic-stricken manner. I had to figure this out. I’ve already lived a good third (realistically more like two-fifths) of my life on autopilot, earning tons of labels that I still attribute to myself. I know I’m morphing, like a motherfucking Power Ranger, but those labels are like gravity. It’s nearly impossible to get away from them.
This is somewhat due to the fact that the people in my life expect a certain behavior from me. They anticipate and when I don’t comply, they’re confused. They may view this change as dishonest, that I’m not being true to who I am when my identity was never really clear to me to begin with.
I started dating my husband when I was 19. Who the hell knows who they are at 19? We grew up together. And now we’ve grown apart. I guarantee I’m not the same person I was back then. For one thing, I eat onions now. And cooked carrots, occasionally. And I hope I’m not the same in ten years. I hope that I will continue to grow and change and evolve because it seems only a feeble mind would choose to meander in the mundane.
Everything in my life is changing right now. My marriage is all but dissolving. Greg and I have separated and while we are going to couples counseling, I’m faced with the possibility that for the first time in a decade, I’m going to be alone. Truly alone. Just me and my thoughts. And I have no idea who I am.
I used this book to literally define my sense of self. The book has you describe certain aspects of your life and personality and then rewrite any negative wording into unbiased facts. For example: I’m a fat ass becomes I wear a size 14. Then you’re supposed to read it twice a day for like thirty days or something but I generally just take a peek when I’m feeling weird. And today I’m feeling weird. So you get a peek too.
I have long eyelashes and hazel eyes that squint up when I smile. My hair is wavy and dark dark brown. I have round shoulders and long arms, long fingers that were made for playing piano and am freakishly strong. I have a dazzling smile that’s genuine and slightly crooked white teeth with a gap in the front. I have olive skin that tans nicely in the summer and lots of freckles. There’s a scar on my nose from having the chicken pox with impetigo and one on my right hand that I still use to determine which hand is right. I wear a size 14 and have stretchmark scars and loose skin on my stomach from carrying two babies. I have a flat booty and decent boobs that nursed two babies for thirteen months. My waist is small, my hips are shapely and my legs are strong. I look lovely in skirts.
I relate well to others and view situations from an objective viewpoint. I can easily put myself in someone else’s shoes. I’m very curious about how others think and ask a lot of questions. I have a diplomatic personality. I think my sense of humor allows me to make light of situations that would normally be tense. I’m clever and witty and like to laugh. I’m much better at communicating when I have time to really think about what I say. However, I usually impulsively say exactly what’s on my mind. I like curse words and dirty jokes and think the inappropriate is always appropriate.
I have a fun, quirky personality and a very forgiving nature. I’m generous and give freely but it takes a while for me to open up. I second guess myself in social situations, mainly because I have a hard time reading people and rarely pick up on social cues. This makes me hesitant to engage in social interactions with new people. I’m a passionate and tactile person and sometimes feel like I have a heightened sensitivity to emotions. I like being sexy but I feel like my body image gets in the way of how I feel. I have had a lot of misconceptions about sex and intimacy but I now feel I can now be proud and frank about being a sexual being.
I complete tasks to the fullest and never half-ass a job but I put off or don’t complete tasks that aren’t engaging. I have a very active brain and need redirected often. I daydream and lose focus but paradoxically fixate on things I want to finish, working all night if need be. I like to do my very best and have a hard time asking for help. I’m not very balanced in my allocation of time, yet once I dedicate myself to a cause, I go all out. I analyze everything and worry about things that are beyond my control. I spend a lot of money. Opinions matter to me. I like to be appreciated.
I’m independent and self-sufficient. I play with my children, I talk and joke and rough house with them. I’m an excellent cook. I have many talents and am super creative. I’m a night owl and a morning person because I don’t need much sleep. I like intellectual interactions. I excel at school and love to learn new things. I’m a gifted writer and a talented seamstress. I have a lovely aesthetic, though I choose comfort over beauty. I’m not afraid to be silly and have a clear, loud voice. I have a natural sense of rhythm and pitch and love to sing. I have a knack for remembering song lyrics. I’m a delightful person to be around and when I get a wild hair up my ass, there’s no stopping me.
You hear that?
There’s no stopping me.