Looking at my blog stats over a period of several months and even years, I realize that the post that has brought people to my blog more than any other is the one about House Finches. I don’t think that it was such a wonderfully-written post in as much as Google picked up on it and apparently people are really interested in finding out about house finches.
Regarding the quality of my writing, I continually am complimented by acquaintances and a few friends. I view my writing almost like I view myself. I do not have a very high view of it or myself. As I search inwardly and outwardly to determine a cause or reason for this self-doubt (for lack of a better term to describe it at the moment), I am somewhat amazed to discover that part of it may be due to not ever having been myself. This may seem strange to some, but please try to understand what I’m trying to say.
Note: I will be using ‘he’ and ‘himself’ so that I won’t constantly be having to put the / symbol to include both genders such as he/she.
Think about a recent high school graduate who goes from living at home straight to living in a college dormitory. There are some new-found freedoms in making that move. However, the person is still considered so-and-so’s child and possibly so-and-so’s grandchild or sibling or [fill in the blank]. Does this person have his own identity yet? Most likely not. As this person progresses through college, he makes new friends and starts to develop a broader understanding of life. This person still goes home for holidays and summer breaks. During those times, the ‘child’ is often at a loss as to how to reach out to others at home because now the child is no longer completely under the same guidelines as he once was. (Note to reader: Are you with me so far?) Let’s say that at one point, this ‘child’ considers that college may not be for him but feels pressure from peers, family, and even self to ‘press on.’ Was that ‘consideration’ something that was far too easily pushed aside? Could that have been some form of him trying to figure out ‘self’?
Fast forward to college graduation and the summer right after… this ‘child’ gets married and starts a new chapter in his life. Wow! Now, this ‘child’ is suddenly an adult?! Or… did that happen one night in the middle of his junior year in college when his 21st birthday rolled around? So… what is this person’s identity now? Simply a spouse? No, he is still a child, grandchild, sibling, but has also added ‘spouse’ to the mixture. What about ‘self’? Who is he? Deep down inside, has he taken the time to truly realize who he is?
Moving forward even more, this ‘child’ one day becomes a parent… adding yet another label. What about ‘person’? Has this child/grandchild/sibling/spouse/parent ever considered himself a person? If so, what kind of person?
Now that I’m divorced and have been on my own for real (as if I never was before), I have come to realize that I really do not fully know who I am… due in part to me not ever allowing myself to be me, to discover who I am. Being thrown into the dating world simply because I am technically single has caused me to pose strange questions of myself… like, “what do you like to do?” I honestly have no idea what I like to do. Okay, I suppose that’s not entirely true. But it feels as though I have no idea because I’ve never given it much sincere thought. I’ve simply gone from being a ‘child’ to being a ‘spouse’ to being ‘alone.’ And, I have very little idea of who I am. I am slowly learning who I am … who I am in Christ is most important, many would say. But even that is not something that is easily explained.
As a follower of Christ, I do not group myself with most Christians… meaning this: I do not automatically agree with everything that every “Christian” says or believes. I think I used to think that I did. I think I used to assume that if a Christian believed something, then it must be right. (1 Thessalonians 5:21 says otherwise.)
Somehow, I know that I am not alone. I am not the only person who has ever faced this kind of self-analytical pondering. I am sure there are many people younger and older than myself who feel they never psychoanalyzed themselves as much as I have. Likewise, I’m sure there are many who can relate to this self-analysis. Even that alone is something to ponder. Why do some people do that and others seemingly see it as silliness or childishness or unnecessary or… [fill in the blank]?
As a side note… to me, it’s interesting that I would write something like this so soon after Robin Williams died. I think that he was probably one of the ones who thought about these things.