I am a 32 year old wife and mother. I know my strengths and my weaknesses, my likes and dislikes, my dreams and my nightmares. Yet every year that passes, I find that I’m still changing and evolving, and I do not just mean physically. I am still finding myself or learning who I am, even as I’m well into adulthood.
Am I the only person who feels this way? I like to think that I am confident in myself and in the person I am. Even with this, there are many things about myself and my life that change. I know that I am not the same person that I was at 18, 21, 25, or even 30 years old. I think that life and experiences have the capability to change our minds and our perspectives as we mature. Everything that has happened to me, every choice I have made, every place I have lived, every job I have taken, and every joy and pain has changed who I am and what I believe.
For example, I used to love being in a crowded, busy place. This could be a shopping mall, a busy city, or a popular tourist attraction. As I grew older, had more children, and experienced more places, I have realized that I prefer smaller areas. Popular attractions and sights have their place, but I would rather live in a quieter, small town with access to the bigger city if needed. If you had told me I would feel this way as an adult, I would have laughed in your face! I am still finding myself.
My political views are always fluctuating, although I lean more liberal. Instead of following what is aligned to a party or a person, I like to read and discuss ideas and views before making a solid decision. I am also less inclined to passively agree with others to avoid a conflict. I still do not like to fight and to clash over personal ideas, but I know now that it is okay to disagree with those close to you (even your spouse). I used to shy away from this, but my confidence in my own decision making skills has changed. I am still finding myself.
I always dreamed of owning a large, fancy house, of having a comfortable life with the ability to afford whatever I wished in life. As we have moved frequently and as I have educated myself on how different people live around the world, I feel very differently. I am not a minimalist by any means, but we do aim to buy and keep less. We try to get what we need, to borrow if possible, and to share or donate with others. I don’t feel the strong desire to hold on to or buy things “just in case,” and if I really want something, I try to save for it. I would rather spend time and money on experiences and travel than on having the latest iPhone or the best cars. I would rather have a house that I can afford and can enjoy instead of one that I have to worry about affording or that I have to work like a dog to keep. I am still finding myself.
Humans are not stable, constant beings. Our bodies are always in a state of change and growth, and even aging can be defined as change. Why would our minds and personalities be any different? Why wouldn’t we be ever-changing as we go through life? Anything from our food preferences, hobbies, political mindsets, and personal beliefs are subject to change. People talk about their midlife crisis or a change of faith at points in their life, but is this really so dramatic? Perhaps we are all just finding ourselves, continually, and even if parts of us remain constant, we are all still figuring out who we are. I hope this is true – I kind of like continually finding myself.