Thursday, June 12, 2014

What It Means To Know Yourself

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I've mentioned it numerous times over the years that life is all about being self-aware. It's about holding up the mirror and looking back at your reflection and understanding who that person is staring right back at you.

Sometimes we take our own mirror and hold it up to the people closest to us, hoping they see what we see, but at the end of the day... they only see themselves.

And that's okay.

So what does it mean to know yourself? For someone like me working in marketing and communications, we measure our success or need to improve through various metrics. I am fairly certain, when I was in my 20s, my measure of success would be whether I accomplished certain goals I had set out. Graduate from college? Check. Get a job in television? Check. Get my own place? Check. Find a boyfriend? Check. Get engaged? Check. Get married before I turned 30? Check..

Check, Check, Check.

I am good at setting goals and accomplishing them. But all of that - every single bit of that - it is all very superficial. 

I ended up leaving the job in television because I wanted more - more money, more time, more everything. I ended up settling for a man that I was not in love with because, as far as I was concerned, I had a time table to uphold and everyone else had already settled down and started having families. That led to a miserable 8 years that finally ended in divorce. 

But if you had asked me what I wanted at 22 - I would have said those things, and told you quite firmly, all of that was who I was. I achieved goals, I was doing what I was brought up to believe was the right thing to do.

None of that was who I really am. 

At 41, I think I have a different perspective. Though it is flawed in concept, it represents where I am in life and what I hold as important.

1. What is my relationship with God? Do I have a relationship with God? Do I truly believe in God?

2. What lights my soul on fire?

3. What is important to me? Is it money? Family? Love? Career? Travel? 

4. What type of legacy am I leaving behind? What type of impact did I make on my community, with my family, with people I come in contact with on a daily basis?

5. Am I growing and evolving?

I think those five questions define who I am... the real me. 

What I have decided to do is work on a five part series by answering these very questions. I hope to be as candid as I possibly can - not for entertainment purposes, but to document for myself where I believe I stand right now.

As for the 20 year old - I think she would be proud of me. ;-)

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