When you’re a teenager, you’re always reminded in one way or another that you don’t know yourself yet or you still haven’t “found yourself.”
Recently, I’ve realized there is some truth to that, at least for me personally. Sometimes, there is a large part of me that feels incomplete or even confused as to who I am.
When I was younger, the thought of understanding who I am never even crossed my mind. And why would it? I was just a kid trying to learn how to do long division and understand fractions. Nothing as deep as “finding myself” ever registered to me as something I might have to go through.
Naturally, as I grew up, understanding my identity was something that became more and more important in my everyday life. I knew it was important to be myself, but I wasn’t sure on how to go about doing that. So, of course as a young teenager, the first thing I did was google it. After looking at a few articles that basically just said to meditate and have some hobbies, I somehow stumbled on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This was the first personality test I had ever taken, but it was the first of many. I soon became obsessed with these online quizzes that try to tell you what type of person you are, what you may be good at, etc. I thought they were going to be so helpful with trying to figure out who I really was, but looking back they probably just confused me more than anything. I took the results of the quizzes to heart and sometimes I even retook a quiz a few times a month just to see if my answers changed at all. I thought I was defining myself with personality test results, but the results honestly hurt me more than they helped me.
Now that I’m a little bit older, I’ve kind of accepted that it’s okay that I don’t know myself that well yet. Although that doesn’t sound like much, it’s definitely a lot more mature than my thirteen-year-old self depending on quiz results for self-knowledge. I realize now that it will probably be a few more years before I understand myself, which I’m completely okay with. To me, I see understanding my identity as something that’s out of my control for now, or at least it’s something that doesn’t need to be focused on. There are so many more important moments in my life that are about to happen. I’m a senior in high school with four months of school left before graduation. Later this year, I’ll be starting my first year of college at UNO. Also later this year, I’ll be able to vote in the Presidential election for the first time. Because I know that so much is going to happen to me in a few short months, it makes me realize that I may think and act differently then, than I do now. It’ll be the start of a new part of my life and I’m still only eighteen, which means I still am always changing and growing.
In 2020, I will do my best to not try to understand myself too much. That sounds kind of strange, but I think the best thing for me to do in my life right now is to let myself find me, if that makes any sense. I just know there is going to be change during the next year of my life, and now I know the least of my worries should be about “finding myself.”