Do you know what it feels like to have someone you love - perhaps a parent, sibling or spouse - try to tell you who you are, and what to believe? If so, you are not alone. At times, those closes to us want to shape our beliefs and turn us into someone they want us to be. It’s likely that they mean well and have our best interests at heart, but that all-important question - ‘Who am I?’ is one we must answer ourselves. But how?
First, we must consider our own life experiences. What has happened to us in our lifetime? Have we experienced loss, or dealt with grief? Have we endured life-threatening trauma? Was our adolescence a lonely one, or did we have lots of friends? Did we start dating early, or not really date at all? What happened to us during young adulthood — did we marry the love of our life, or lose them? Moving forward, did we embark on our chosen career or did we take a job only to please someone else? And in our later years, how did we react to the inevitable loss of loved ones that comes with growing old? How did we react to the inevitable changes in our own health and in the health of significant others?
Your answers to these questions will help to determine who you think you are. But there are other factors to consider. For instance, the 21st century phenomenon known as genealogy has inspired a surge in people tracing their ancestry as far back as they can. Suppose we discover skeletons in our families past? Might these discoveries change how we see ourselves?
Taking things one step further, what about those venture into DNA testing? Several companies offer tests that are generally known as Family Finder research, enabling a person to track his/her ethnic background, not just for the very recent past, but for thousands of years. Might the results of these tests trigger a change in how a person sees themselves?
It is with these factors in mind that the author embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Did his answers to the question, 'Who Am I?' shift over time?
And by the way, dear reader, who are you? Do you really know yourself? Follow the author’s fascinating journey across time and see what secrets you can unveil about your own past!