Something I have always struggled with is identity. I’ve often felt like a gray blob slipping through my daily tasks because I’ve been so clueless as to who I am. The pressure of feeling like you have to be defined as a person, to say greetings world, this is who I am, is an annoying burden. I’ve felt in the past that I needed to have a perfect bulleted list of what makes me me, but I’ve never felt like I had that list, enter the gray blob version of me. I got even blobbier when I came to college. Suddenly I could be anyone I pleased, and since I might be the most indecisive creature inhabiting this Earth, that was a daunting thing. So I avoided the decision to decide who I was. Another impressive talent of mine is thinking that I can get away from such internal conflicts if I simply pretend they aren’t there. It’s a strange feeling when your mind gives you your own reality check. How can we be anything else than what we are in this exact moment? How do we not define ourselves by the stupid things we’ve done and the countless times we’ve fallen short? How do we define ourselves by a future we have no control over, a future that might not even last until tomorrow? What do we do when the versions of ourselves from the past, the present, and the future, compete with each other for a leading role in our identities?
Much in need of some God time, I spent a good chunk of my afternoon in church. It usually is a way for me to add a little kick to the monotony that inevitably settles itself into my days. Today was a little different. I stayed after mass was over. I stayed until I was the only one left. Because my prayers verge on awkward sometimes, I started writing my thoughts for some clarity. Being alone in the chapel with nothing but my thoughts, my pen, and my God was one of the most profound moments I’ve had in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some quality church time, but I usually have a good sense of when I’ve had my fill for the day. Today, I hoped that a lifetime supply of paper would appear in front of me so that I would never have to leave. I hoped irrationally that the world wasn’t waiting for me outside, because I was overcome with something I’ve spent my whole life searching for: a sense of identity. In those moments, I felt weightless, and that is all the identity I need right now.
We are not our mistakes, nor are we our triumphs. We are not this moment, nor are we yesterday. We are not tomorrow, we are not memories. We are not our thoughts. We are not blobs, and we don’t get blobbier. We aren’t adjectives, nor are we faces. We are not a cry, nor a laugh, not a smile, nor a tear. We are not our shortcomings, nor do we fall short. We are not the hands that type these words, nor the eyes that read them. We are not time, nor are we the lack of it.
We are the people we become when this world melts away and we become weightless in a moment of clarity with God. With God, I simply am.