Who Am I?

by Chris de Serres

You never really know this.  You know who you are to people.  My daughter knows who I am.  My wife does.  My brother.  Yet there is a part of you that is unknowable.  It reveals itself slowly over time like a glacier which slowly melts away.  We all want to know who we are.  We think we really can know but there are always surprises.  Delights and disappointments.  Just the other day I thought to myself I thought I was above this outburst.  I don’t behave like that.

I went away over the weekend.  It was one of those immersion trainings.  I had trouble finding myself in this group of students.  I constantly critiqued everything I did.  My effort wasn’t good enough.  I didn’t belong here.  I wasn’t picking up this new skill fast enough.  This inner struggle threatened this opportunity to open fully to the experience.  This fragile me was suffocated under the pressure of my inner mother and father.  That’s who I visualize in my mind judging me.  Mom and dad.  I carry them with me to destroy my effort at being authentic.  At succeeding.

At the end of the weekend I got my report card.  The instructors thought I did well.  As I read their notes I didn’t even recognize who they were talking about.  It was almost like there was another person there that weekend.  It wasn’t me.

I am 40 years old.  Married for 7 years.  I have a 4 year old daughter.  Yet everyday is a struggle to find who I am.  To convey it to the world.  To find courage to express what I truly want.  Who am I?  Whoever mom and dad will let me be in any given moment.