What Makes You, You?

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

Aristotle

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I’m writing this post from my amazing hotel room in the lovely mountains of Razlog, Bulgaria. Random, right? We’re on a company trip for 6 days staying at the Pirini Golf Hotel and Spa where I’ve honestly fallen in love with this place! I have a jacuzzi bathtub with 4 different shower heads I’ll probably never use and a TV in front of the toilet. What’s not to love!

But today’s post isn’t about my Bulgaria experience (though I’d be happy to share with you if you’d like!). In my last post I wrote about the things that I felt were holding me back from truly expressing myself on my blog, and now I see how those things affect me in real life.

FYI, I’m writing this post at 1:00am after a few glasses of wine and a busy day so I’m not sure where this is going, but it’s going somewhere…

Staying in a difference country with people you work with is interesting. You’re not sure how much of yourself you should let out but at the same time you don’t want to seem too reserved. You’re spending so much time with them (more than usual) that you question how much or little of yourself you should expose. Should I wear my headscarf to breakfast or not? Can I walk around with no eyebrows on? At least that’s how I feel. And it’s funny how, on a platform such as this blog where I could be anything I want, I still struggle with this type of self-conflict.

I’d like to think that I’m an introvert but force myself to be an extrovert to avoid seeming anti-social. So every now and then I find myself saying and doing things that aren’t really me to try and fit in. It’s become more noticeable to me during this company trip.

I’m sure no one has picked up on it (I hope) but I have and I don’t like it. So as I sit in my hotel room with my last glass of wine and some M&M’s I ask myself, who am I?  When my name, age, ethnicity, religion and relationships are taken away, what else makes me, me? What else do I stand for?

Have you ever asked yourself that?

It’s not an easy question to answer, at least for me it isn’t, but I believe it’s an important one. I’ve never taken the time to actively ask myself these questions out of fear of what I’ll find. Will my values match up with my actions or have I been living in denial? It can also seem like a very selfish and self-indulgent process – two things I wouldn’t ever like to be known as. But sometimes those moments are needed, so I’m having one right now. Let me take a sip of my drink!

I don’t know about you but there are parts of my life I don’t like. Not because of the physical things I have (or don’t have) but the way I see myself in my life. You know what I mean? As of late, I feel as though there is a disconnect between my inner and outer being. I often find myself allowing my actions to be externally dictated and not feeling completely satisfied with the decisions I make. Not because they were bad ones but because the decisions were made with the absence of my own true feelings. I’d feel one way but do another. I don’t trust my own feelings and think of other people’s before my own. I hate to admit it but I’m a people pleaser.

I didn’t know that about myself before…

From the outside looking in I seem as though I have things together and that I’m secure with what I have. Or at least I think I do. I’m in an amazing job, a great relationship and have people around me that love me. I’m healthy, I have a bit of savings and have plans for the future. Some of the things I would have hoped to have at this age. So why do I feel like in the midst of all that I’ve lost myself.

As I sit in my room with no distractions and a near enough empty glass of wine I ask myself: what makes me Lydia? And the honest truth is I don’t know. I could ask the people in my life and they would give me a list of things I am to them but that’s not what I’m asking here. I’m asking, who am I to me?

To be honest, aside from my work, my faith, culture and the relationships that I have, I’m not sure. Am I making sense? Probably not but that’s OK, I’ve had enough glasses of wine to not feel the need to make sense. At least not in this post.

Why am I sharing this?

At certain points in our busy lives we can lose who we are because of all the things that life throws at us. These things distract us from finding ourselves and because of that, the distractions start to define us. I believe we’ve been conditioned to think that if the “right” things are happening in our lives then we shouldn’t be complaining. We should just accept it and enjoy the ride.

But we need to take a pause and ask ourselves who is it right for, me or everyone else? How do we know if it’s right for us? Finding ourselves and our truth is a journey (pardon the cliche) and I believe I’m preparing myself to get on it. I’m laying my cards out on this blog to see what I have, what I need to leave behind and what I need to find along the way. I just want to encourage you to do the same. There is a story that only you and I can tell and to begin we must first tap into ourselves.

Stay tuned for the next one.

Love, Lydia x

 

 

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