The question of who I am seems to be less important than who God wants me to be in the face of all of my fragmented identities that appeared as I tried to be a successful young adult. Who is the “I” that was present when I was conceived and will be present when I pass away and am forgotten by future generations? What of me do I carry forward that will inevitably be stripped away because I don’t need it or God doesn’t want it?
I think that the closest I’ve come are the times I was on the verge of “entering a new market,” so to speak, where people didn’t know or care who I had been before arriving there. I’ve certainly done better at being my true self when I was away from other human beings. I had to push past a longstanding urge to try to emulate my older brothers–or do what I think they would have done in any given situation.
I am okay now with who I am, mostly.
I am not a Type A person, or an Alpha Male. I do not seek to win at life by causing others to lose. I am not good looking or athletic, and am of average intelligence. I don’t expect to live extra long or die extra young.
I am a heterosexual man–there is no doubting this. I’ve searched deeply in my soul for other possibilities, but there are none. I may not be so inclined to watch football and eat a lot of red meat, but there just isn’t anything or anyone else there, except the heterosexual man.
I miss my brothers and my mom, especially my little brother and my mom. My oldest brother was adopted and very different than me and and my little brother.
I am concerned less and less about dying and going to hell. I do my best to let God know how sorry I am when I sin, and be sincere in my begging for forgiveness.
I will never fully be who I am supposed to be until I reach out to many more souls–both for help and to help them. I will never be my fully realized self, until I’ve meditated for thousands of more hours upon how Jesus gave his life for my salvation, and all that accompanied his arrival, time on earth, crucifixion, resurrection and departure. Until my heart is completely altered to be utterly sympathetic to Jesus and “the least of these,” I am simply another man waiting to fully realize his potential.
My full potential will never be realized in me trying to augment my intelligence through books and smart pills. Nor will I discover a transformation awaiting me around the corner of me doing some especially daring stunt.
The quest to become fully who I am must see me rendered into a much more compact sort of being. This doesn’t mean that I give up everything but prayer and Bible reading. But, I stop reading fiction with an eye to escapism or simple entertainment. I read it to understand more deeply the human condition and in turn seek out in my community those who might benefit from my help. I begin to meditate more frequently on the notion that I don’t own myself, and can’t wall myself off from others. However, I do try to stop chasing after every single fantastic notion that pops into my head.