Amidst all of the learning we do every day, we don’t often stop to learn about ourselves. We should be our own experts, but instead, we exhaust ourselves with the intake of information we receive every day.
I tend to learn the most about myself by listening to what others say about me. For example, I’ve learned that a big part of my identity is my role as a wife. I think this is partly because my husband and I both grew up in this community of about 50,000, so lots of people here know one or both of us. I am often introduced as Dru′s wife.
People will then describe me, which is where growth can really happen. I’ve been described in reference to my work (“she works at the library”), by what I enjoy doing (“she’s a good cook” or “she’s a dancer”), and by where I spend my time (“we went to Central High together” or “she goes to my church”).
Conversely, I sometimes have to correct someone or make a verbal addendum to what they’ve said. It is strange to me when someone leaves out an element paramount to my identity. Re- introducing myself to someone of status can also be a blow to the ego. Regardless, I have to choose who I want to be, and sometimes make the harsh realization that who I want to be is not always pronounced in my daily life.
This is where journaling and self-reflection come into play. I try to write after such instances, i.e., “You’ve done theater? Wow.” … to my journal I go. Why don’t I come across as a patron, much less participant, of the theater?
Regardless of the motivation, self-discovery is important. Spend some time with yourself and devote yourself to a relentless exploration of self. After all, how are you going to convince others to like you, if you don’t like yourself?
Morgan Davis is the library’s community learning coordinator.