Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who am I?

I have spent four years jumping from country to country searching for me. I moved from one culture to the next believing that by being super flexible and adaptable, that by presenting a censored me, I was being a phony American peer pressured to do my best to fit in without revealing my true self. I feared I wouldn't be able to integrate, wouldn't be accepted and would eventually be run out of the country if I revealed all of my labels. There is some truth to my fear; however, I've wrongly believed that I've been lying about who I am.

I've often written about trying to find the answer to the question who am I? Living in other countries I feel that I've been chasing a memory of me, have been chasing a ghost, a Jennifer whom I thought I was, who I thought that by being in the USA I would become again. In the states there is a freedom to be open in ways I can't be while living abroad, so I always assumed that if I returned to the USA I would be a more truthful side of myself.

I went back to the USA for a month, returned to China and while eating a bowl of noodles, my first meal back at site, watching the street, what did I discover?

No matter where I am, I am me. There I am. All those labels, the ones I hide, the ones I present, the ones I change, the ones I become aren't me. My history, education, genes, clothes, beliefs and labels don't define my identity. My identity exists right there, undefinable, just there. When I peer into me, I know it, but there are no words to describe it.

My insecurities and fears cause me to think I don't know who I am, cause me to think that I am presenting a phony censored identity, cause me to defend that which is me. But there is no need because I exist, not because I think, not because I can write and write describing who I am.
I exist because I am not dead.
I exist here, now.
Look inside.
Close your eyes.
Can you see yourself?
Can you hear yourself?
Can you feel that quiet sense of being you?
Then you know what I am talking about.
That being is you.
This being is me,
no longer wondering who am I?
I am me.


Anonymous said...

Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace.

Jon Kabat-Zin said...

wherever you go, there you are