Really, who Are You?

When I was 13, hormones raging, I had no idea who I really was.  Nor did I have any idea who I would become.  Now, I am over 60 and I still feel exactly the same.  Sure I have done a lot of stuff, more than most, and people who apparently know me can tell you who I am.  At least, they can from their own perspective.  And, yes, of course, along the way between 13 and 60 I was pretty sure I had a grip on who I was at any particular time.  Self-absorbed to say the least.  Why else would I write about this subject!  But, the truth is I do not know.  I have been told ad nausea by those that “know me” best who I am and the inner voice in me always replies, “How can you know that when I do not have a clue myself?”

I am envious of those who can answer this question for themselves.  They are smarter, more self-aware and luckier than me.   I can use all the labels; male, Caucasian, upper middle class, average intelligence, opinionated, incredibly good looking (see, I really do not know), sarcastic, irascible, stubborn, a father and husband (hopefully a good one), and on and on.  But, none of those labels make me feel warm and fuzzy, none of them, except maybe being a good husband and father, really resonate.  This state of being, not knowing is enormously frustrating, especially if you think, as I do, that being something is the reason I am here.  Before I die it sure would be nice to know.

I am always amazed at the kind of person that just knows at age eight they want to be a fireman, policeman, astronaut, doctor, actor, president or world class athlete.  How wonderful it must feel to know so everything you do leads you to that end.  I am a little bit envious of that capability.  A little bit leery too.  It also scares me shitless.  Why?  Because I am not that bright.  Like Indiana Jones in The Search for the Holy Grail, “Choose wisely!” has not always been my forte.  Preprogramming one’s life at an early age makes me think about horse blinders; life on the periphery obfuscated for a vision dead ahead.   If I knew what I should be doing, why would I be here right now ruminating once again about this subject?  More frightening, given my gene pool, where Octogenarians are the norm and living into ones 90s is not uncommon, I likely still have one third of my life to go.   Hopefully healthy.    Life should be a blessing, but it seems I may have wasted two thirds of it trying to figure out what to do with it.  As I take my last gasp it sure would be nice to know just who I am supposed to be.  For some reason that beckons me.

I only share this because since joining the Greater Impact Foundation the question has becomes less daunting to answer.  Spending my time focused on doing the work that helps enable those struggling at the bottom of the pyramid has reinvigorated me, given me focus and imbued my persona with a spirit that is enormously satisfying.  Duh!  What a dunce.   I probably knew in the back of my head all these years that this is what I should have been pursuing all my life.  Whether that is true I am not sure.  What I do know is my meandering life, the one that just happened has resulted in this good fortune.  For that reason alone I now know that I am quite happy that I did not know what I wanted to be when I was eight, 13, 21, 30, 50, and, well, you get my drift.  I have meandered into the perfect storm and I am grateful for it.