There’s a silence in all of us that allows us to know the 5 W’s and 1 H; who, what, when, where, why, and how. In my undergraduate studies in Journalism this was the basic investigative formula for getting the facts of any story. At the very least, it gave you the lead to something bigger. I’m finding, later in life, the concepts previously learned are applicable in other aspects of life not exactly academic. In my graduate studies, Leadership specifically, the concepts can be applied in life at the very moment of conception—if you’re in the action you cannot see what’s truly happening. Other than the age gap, the true difference lies in the person (who) you are (what) at that moment (when) in time (where) when you’re truly left alone to process “how” (why).
This is my story, at the moment…
I’ll be 34 in almost exactly five months and the overarching theme of most people in my age bracket isn’t mine. I could have had this Cleaver-like existence, but it wasn’t me. So WHO am I? I’ll keep this aligned to the five-point theme and in bullets (so this may be super difficult in choice but here goes):
- Stubborn – This has been with me the longest of any other descriptor and perhaps the go-to word for anyone that has ever cared for me. It’s served me both well and poorly at various stages in my life. Being stubborn in my early twenties, paid off in ambitious endeavors as I wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and forged through impossibility to succeed. However, there is a fine line between stubborn and pride that is painfully uncomplimentary–not knowing where this line is can create a cascading failure. While I have admitted to learning far more in my failures than successes, the irony lies in my stubbornness.
- Loyal – I’m fiercely loyal, which is problematic at times because anything “fierce” is intense and there are few people willing to succumb to such devoted attachment much less reciprocate. However, loyalty comes in many levels and the duty I place upon others may very well be impossible outside of me.
- Creative – This gives me the ability to transcend myself, others, and discover something more meaningful. Perhaps my only saving grace in the world.
- Hopeful – I’m confident that while I cannot control the events, people, or circumstances that come into my life, I believe that it’ll all work out as it should and the best for everyone. That every exit is an entrance into somewhere else, and in the words of Mark Twain, “Dance like nobody’s watching; love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth.”
The sum of the above abridged characteristics is my partial identity–the WHAT to my WHO. This, of course, could be different from those that know me or have known me, so this potential difference gives me a separate identity from my own. If identity is a necessity then what does that say about “me”? That we’re more than who we are because who we are isn’t isolated to who we think we are, but rather who we are to others? We live in half-truths until we relate to others because 1+1=2.
“Now ‘WHY a thing is itself’ is a meaningless inquiry (for — to give meaning to the question ‘why’ — the fact or the existence of the thing must already be evident’-e.g. that the moon is eclipsed-but the fact that a thing is itself is the single reason and the single cause to be given in answer to all such questions as why the man is man, or the musician musical’, unless one were to answer ‘because each thing is inseparable from itself, and its being one just meant this’ this, however, is common to all things and is a short and easy way with the question).” – Aristotle’s Law, Metaphysics Book VII, Part 17
WHEN I was a child, the identification came mostly from my family. This is both good and bad because while the definition of you is contingent upon others–it’s also tied to them and less to you. This helps you be grounded when you fly too far from your roots, but it’s confusing when belief systems move out of orbit from the Mothership. This is WHERE you begin to define your own life and how it fits or doesn’t fit with others.
So, HOW do you get to where you’re going? This route is different for each of us, and in realizing this I’ll figure out my story.