When I was younger, I went to a leadership seminar where the whole week was dedicated to “knowing thyself.” I thought then, still very naïve, that a week of introspection led me to the answer. Some of my contemporaries, even more naive, thought they already had the answer.
A few years later in my 20’s, I realized that I did not fully know what I wanted to do, which direction I wanted to go, being introduced for the first time to the realities of failure and hard choices, hence questioning — perhaps I really did not know myself. It led to anxious self doubt, and yet each day I learned more and more and started to realize the person I was at 15 wasn’t the person I was at 20, and had grown leaps between 20 and 21.
Today, I am learning that the idea of looking at oneself as a constant looks great on paper, but in reality is an illusion. Self reflection, looking at ourselves in a mirror or under a microscope, in the context of how we fit in a world much larger than we thought, is a continuous process. We are ever changing, adapting individuals, and it took me a while to understand that knowing oneself also means knowing time, coupled with the environment we move around in, changes us. How we deal with our changing self within a changing world, is at the core, who we are.
Photo taken at Storm King Art Center, 2014.