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Who Are You?

When you were a child, who did you want to be when you grow up? Are you grown-up? If yes, are you who you said you wanted to be? If yes then great! Does it mean you stop growing? If no, then it means you are still growing up right?! Did who you want to be change along the way and/or is it still changing?

Too many questions?! I know... (Wink)! All of these questions are leading me to another question; what does it really mean when we ask children “who do you want to be when you grow up?” The question seems to imply that when you become that person you want to be, growth suddenly stops but is that really the case? Would we say there is an end point to growth or is it continuous? Would a better question be, “who would you like to be or what would you like to do asyou grow up?

Does “who/what do you want to be when you grow up” sound limiting or close ended versus “what/who would you like to be or do asyou grow up?” What are your thoughts?

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Who are you in this moment? “Who would you say you are; tell the listeners/watchers who you are.” Each time a guest on the Sitmpod is asked this question, I sometimes ask myself the same question and reflect/write it down to see if something changed from the last time I asked/answered the question. 

To the listeners/watchers of the Sitmpod interviews, do you ever find yourself asking/answering that question? If yes, what has been your response? Does it change over time or does it remain the same? If you have never asked yourself the question; who am I, I challenge you to ask yourself that today. Make a note of it, then ask the same question 3 months from now, 6 months and a year later. Then find someone to share what you discover. You don’t necessarily have to be an entrepreneur to ask/answer that question because there might come a time during your journey in life where/when you might be faced with such a question. It is part of being self-aware and assessing self-growth.  

Who would I say I am? I have learned that how I answer that question either shows room for growth or stalls me. In all honesty, I don’t think that I would do that question justice if I were to answer it verbally but I can attempt at it in writing. To answer that question in a nutshell, I would say I am Becoming… :) ;)

Yes, you guessed right! This is inspired by Michelle Obama’s book; BECOMING. There is something about how she told her story, even better how she read it (via audible). Something about it that I can’t find the right words to describe. This book gave me a renewed sense of self. It is the longest/thickest book I have listened/read thus far. I had too many ‘ah ha’ moments, awakening and or re-awakenings. Here with some highlights from the book that spoke to me; bold italics are words from the book. 

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“Failure is a feeling long before it becomes actual which is escalated by... and fear.”This reminded me of moments where I visualized myself failing at something before I even attempted. I would replay thoughts of what I would do if I failed. Sometimes fear kept me from even trying. I am learning to feel/acknowledge the fear, face it rather than dismiss it and still give it a try because in life we either win or we learn. We only lose if we don’t approach the situation with an open mind and learn the lessons when the outcome is not what we wanted or expected.

Fear can make us doubt our abilities. “Am I good enough?” There were instances where the author questioned herself; her college admission experience, during the initial presidential campaign as well as re-election and a number of times while she was first lady. I once came across an acronym for fear; Face Everything And Riseor Forget Everything And Run.

“What others think of you can keep you stuck in living with other people's expectations... It is one thing to get yourself out of a stuck place, it is another to get a place unstuck.” This line got me emotional because in it lies a part of my story/journey. First I would say that it is easier to get yourself unstuck than it is to get a place or group of people unstuck. I’ve learned in my journey thus far that at the very least, your immediate family wants what is best for you to the best of their knowledge/experience. To the extent that their expectations could either keep you stuck or propel you forward in a direction other than what you may envision for yourself or that which they may envision for you… Sounds like a mouthful; reread it again! :) Nonetheless, I have come to realize and understand that family wants the best for you which may be a different concept of what you consider ‘best’ for yourself.

The author reported failing the bar exam, it reminded me of when I failed the Pharm Tech board exam. Like her I felt like a failure; did I fail because I wasn’t smart enough or was it because I really wasn’t passionate about it? Well I took the exam again and failed. It could be argued that I gave-up easily or it just wasn’t my journey but I would say that the underlying reason why I was propelled in that direction meant well for me. 

“Find fulfillment in what you do… purpose… life is short to waste it doing that which isn’t fulfilling. There’s no straight line between effort and rewards.” In other words, success is a rocky road, if you find purpose and fulfillment in what you are doing, you will endure the challenges but if you don’t then there’s a chance you’ll easily give-up. There came a point when the author finally decided on what she truly wanted to do despite the pay cut, she “put herself in front of anyone who would give her advice, narrowing down the widened understanding of what’s possible and how others have done it.” This is how my journey to a non-traditional professionalwas. Also, this is what the Stuck in The Middle Podcast(Sitmpod) is about, bringing you stories of how people are breaking the mold and how you can go about it.

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About one-third through the book, I was constantly checking to see how much was left because I felt like my mind/brain wasn’t grasping the information anymore. Like I previously mentioned, this was the thickest/longest book I have read/listened to thus far. I was about to switch to a different book for a couple of days when I noticed something different in the author’s voice (tone) with regards to how she ended chapter seven and introduced the next... “Chapter Eight: Barack Obama was late on day one!”In the book, this line is written in all capital letters (haha!). This to me meant, it was about to get interesting! So I kept listening/reading.

She took pride in being early or at least on time as she stated… “In life you control what you can...arriving early.”Situations happen and it is all about communication rather than expecting the other person to magically figure it out. As individuals, we tend to expect from others the characteristics we ourselves portray. For example, if you are dependable, trustworthy, loyal, honest or…(ect) you tend to expect or at least hope that others would be same or you would draw closer to those who portray same or similar characteristics and drift away from those who don’t. 

So when people make comments such as, a person is ‘picky,’ guess what?! Nature itself is picky; Natural selection… even though some of our choices may turn out to be 'interesting,’ I want to believe that, there's a reason for the timing of the happenings in our lives. “There’s no hurrying the bus ride…”  Some would argue that we are in control of the bus ride but I say, only to a certain extent… 

To be continued… but in the meantime, have you read this book; BecomingBy Michelle Obama? If so what are your thoughts? If not, what are your thoughts from the perspective(s) shared?

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