Are You Exactly Who You Want to Be?

Can you say "I am exactly who I want to be" and mean it? It's a bit scary!
Photo by Miguel Bruna.

I have a running list where I jot down ideas for blog posts. It's mostly a list of random questions and phrases, some of which I look at months (or days) later and have NO IDEA what I was talking about.

One of the entries on that list was a sentence:

"I am exactly who I want to be."

I know I didn't write that down in a fit of awesome self-love (although that would have been pretty cool). I am pretty sure I heard someone else say it and then realized I had a bunch of complicated feelings about it that I should write about.

So let's dig in.

On one hand, I do like myself. This is a pretty big deal because I used to hate myself. A lot. For a long time.

On another hand, I am not perfect. Not by a long shot. But I do think I am at least pretty good. I think that if you put me in a line with a bunch of people and compared us (because that is obviously a reasonable thing to do to people), I would hold up alright in the stack of humanity.

But am I exactly who I want to be?

I wouldn't mind changing a few things about myself. A little more self-control, a little less selfishness, a lot less taking things personally, a little more confidence (apparently). It would be nice if I didn't talk so loud so often.

At the end of the day, though, I am on board with the person that I am.

But am I exactly who I want to be?

That is a really strong statement! It makes me uncomfortable!

Okay, here's a question: if I could wave a magic wand and change the things about myself I want to change, theoretically becoming "exactly who I want to be", would I? I am not so sure.

It's one thing to work on being better at something, and another to just say "blammo, self-control" and change it. Then I would be afraid of the other repercussions. Would I become too much of a different person if I suddenly had perfect self-control? Probably! There are trade-offs, for example, between being a person who occasionally stays up way past their bedtime for the sake of some quality friendship time or being a person who always goes to bed on time. If you work on yourself over time, you make intentional choices to balance different traits and values. If you just "blammo" your way into something, well... you will probably lose something.

Part of being a person is having a weird, contradictory pile of traits that are both good and bad. Not just good traits and bad traits, but the traits themselves are both good and bad. Individually. Like, self-control is a great thing in moderation but would suck a lot of juice out of life if it permeated everything.

So, yes, I will continue to work on improving areas of my life that I think could use improvement, because I am the kind of person who does that, but no, I do not want to suddenly turn those traits up to 11. (Or even 10.)

So then, am I exactly who I want to be?

I guess maybe I am.

Huh.

That was honestly a little unexpected.

How about you? What's your answer, and how did you get there? Show your work!


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