I often wonder who I am.
It’s easy for me to get caught up in “people-pleasing” and doing what I think others either want me or expect me to do. I like to keep the peace, so when something I want to do is met with hesitation or opposition, I often back down and concede. It’s a quality I both admire and despise in myself. “Oh that Penny, she is so easy-going!” vs. “Wow, Penny does not have a backbone!” Those hypothetical quotes bring me to my second issue: I care too much what other people think of me. Yes, that was not me speaking in the third person. That was me imagining what other people must think of me from time to time.
While I do recognize this phenomenon on occasion, when I try to get deep with myself and uncover who I really am and who I want to be, I find it difficult to determine. How does one pinpoint who they are without factoring in the people in their lives? Or maybe those people do factor in, but to what extent? I think, on some level, I act a particular way with particular people because I want them to accept me. But who are they accepting – the Penny who is true to herself or the Penny who is truer to others?
Perhaps this is where this week’s writing challenge fits in, which is a take on the theme of H2O: What does it mean to be the same thing, in different forms, i.e. ice, water and steam?
I initially started this post with New Year’s resolutions in mind, i.e. focusing more on what makes me happy versus what makes others happy. But now, in thinking of what it means to be the same thing in different forms, I’m starting to wonder if making other people happy is in fact something that makes me happy. I think, at the very least, right now this is true. Sure, I will strive to ensure I maintain happiness in the process, but I don’t necessarily think it’s an ‘either or’ case. If I can be happy while those around me are happy, well I think that’s the ultimate success.
Further addressing the H2O challenge, I take pride in my multifaceted self. I love having so many interests and different people in my life that make me who I am. At any moment in time, I can be a: writer; marketer; listener; talker; reader; comedian; chef; observer; watcher; socializer; host; guest; cleaner; fixer; driver; passenger; leader; follower… and the list goes on and on. As the list grows, so too does the richness of my life.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Ice, Water, Steam.”