Sunday, December 14, 2014

Creating Yourself

Life isn't about finding yourself. 
Life is about creating yourself. 

George Bernard Shaw

I've been thinking about this quote a lot since I've been recovering from my last surgeries and hospitalization this summer. I read this quote some time ago and always found it very interesting.  And I find it interesting because Shaw takes a very common and popular saying and twists it.  So many people from all walks of life and ages have said something to the tune of, "I need to find myself," if perhaps they have gone through a recent change or crisis in their life. I know I certainly said it when I was headed off to New York. But perhaps it isn't about finding ourselves that is the quest. Maybe our quest instead is creating ouselves from the outline of basic and common humanity that we have found ouselves in. Our need is not to find out who we are.  But to create and define the rough image we already have of ourselves, Finding out who we are as individuals is merely knowing that by shape, size, height, hair and eye color the figure we see through the veil of fog can be positively identified as our person. But where we truly "find" ourselves comes in our own creation.

Finding who we are implies a finality. There's nowhere to go from being found. But in creation, we have fluidity and constant evolution. However fluidity and evolution is confined to the mind in which it's found. Much like each species has its own evolutionary process. There is of course many similarities of each species' evolutionary process but in humans, it's what comes in the creation that separates and defines us and makes us who we are as individuals. From the time of our birth and into our young adult years we are more in a developmental process. It's when we have that moment in life, that moment where we begin to think deeper and search for our own answers, discover what turns us off and what turns us on, even our preference for either coca cola or Pepsi that we begin the great adventure of creating ourselves. It's like an artist. Let's think about an artist of some kind, like a....musician. A composing pianist for a specific image. This musician goes through school getting his masters in composition where he learns music theory and his time signatures and keys, etc. As he begins composing his own work, he first works with the basics of what he has learned. After he lays down the the basic melody and harmony of his piece he begins creating. He creates and develops a style in his compositions that become his creative signatures. He has begun the creative process that continually evolves and gives birth to itself.

Thinking back on several pivotal markers in my life where I thought I was going out to find myself, I see clearly how I wasn't finding myself as I remember thinking I was doing because after each of those experiences I went through I never felt that "found" feeling in my soul; the satisfaction that I have learned all I need to learn about myself, that I have completed my development and evolvement. I never securely knew who I was yet, as was my goal in setting out to find myself. But I do look back during those times and see that what I was really doing was creating myself!  I was developing my character, learning continuously from my mistakes and putting those lessons into actions and changes. With each adventure I was on in the pursuit to find myself, what I was really doing was discovering new opinions, new ideas, new likes and dislikes and loves, pieces of my personality that began emerging and being expressed that I liked expressing and playing around with, and visa versa.  I discovered attributes and personality traits that I may not have liked so much about myself or maybe hurt other people So I rewrote the melody line so that it flowed better for me and the people around me. You may want to intervene and call this being untrue to who I am by saying that I'm changing myself. But that is not the case.  I am not changing myself into anything I'm not or changing to be what anyone else wants me to be.  We are in a constant fluid energy of creating ouselves from our experiences in life without changing the core of who we are. If life was about finding ourselves, once found, where do we go from there as people and individuals?  There is no room for further growth. I
am not the same person I was 12 years ago because I'm in the constant process of growth and learning and discovering that is the creation of my self. In making life about your continual and exciting creation of who you are you lose the anxiety and panic of society's pressure on you to be an expected mold of who people around you think you should be. You become free to be your creation and in your evolving creation, there is an infinity to who you can be and what you can do.