It’s strange to think that you live your whole life as you but then sometimes have a hard time knowing just what that means.
When I was little, video cameras were an odd concept to me. My six-year-old self had some strange notion that the video was almost like a time capsule of life to show to the future world. Strangers would be watching it and wonder who this cute little girl on the screen was. Because of this, every time I was on camera I would always start with, “Hi, I’m Samantha!”
Right then and there I was saying, “Hi, I’m me” and it was as simple as could be. I was introducing myself to the world and that’s what they needed to know.
Since then, it’s as if the more we “do” the less we understand who we are. We go to networking events and struggle to explain to people who we are and immediately turn to what we do at work. We try to find more things that “add up” to who we are. If I do this, plus this, plus a hobby or two and the way I wear my hair, that equals me.
I want to know when that changed. Why growing up took away our self-assurance in who we were.
My theory? We knew who we were as kids because we weren’t as focused on what we were not. We didn’t question ourselves as much or compare our individuality with our playground friends. We didn’t say, “Well, I’m not a real (writer, musician, artist, inventor, entrepreneur, athlete fill in the blank here) until I do this. We may have been jealous of a toy someone else owned, but we didn’t worry about who we were. We just knew. I’m me.