"I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then. "
I've been thinking a lot lately about "figuring out who I am" and, frankly, finding the whole question rather frustrating at times.
So, I went to an expert...my therapist...and asked her: How does one find oneself? How do you decide who you are, separate from all those definers--partner, parent, teacher--or all the adjectives that have been used by others or yourself to define you--perky, emotional, strong?
And you know what she said?
Well...to be honest, it was a little hard to understand completely, (involving a graph with three axis, one of which was in perpetual motion), but I'll do my best to rephrase it.
The idea that she gave back to me was an eye-opening concept. She asked me to think about if there really is ever one "I" or one "self" that we are, or that we become. Instead, she offered the possibility that who we are is dependent on each moment, and how present we are in that moment. That our self is more how we respond to the present and how aware we are of ourselves in that time and space. Our self is never stagnant or solid, but rather a fluid entity that moves along with and within our experiences and our reactions. So...to "find oneself" is a somewhat impossible task. Instead, maybe we should consider it more a process of learning about oneself, observing oneself, and becoming more comfortable and aware of the constant ebb and flow of who and what we are.
So, instead of continuing along the path (the goal) of figuring out who I am, I think I'll try just stepping back and taking a look at who I am right now. For that person will not be the same "me" that I was yesterday, nor will it be same person I become tomorrow. Instead, I will be the best of who I am--in the most honest, open, and thoughtful way I can be at any given time--and know that, at that moment, it will be exactly who I am.