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Hi again, I don’t know who I am

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Katianna Mansfield

More stories from Katianna Mansfield

I am okay now
February 16, 2018

Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been struggling deeply with who I am.

This is exceptionally hard for me to explain because I thought I knew who I was. I thought when I looked in the mirror, the person looking back at me was one I knew well. One whose life was the yarn from which I used to weave me– this is what I thought.

The yarn got tangled somewhere along the way. Or, as I believe now, it got tangled every way it could, any time it could.

If you’ve ever been an arts and crafts kind of person, like I grew up being, you know the feeling of a string or yarn bunch that just won’t unravel. Every perceived correct movement to untie the gnarl in the material fails, only proving to complicate it further. The patient and nimble fingers you started with turn irritated and aggressive. You feel yourself start to go a little wild, unreasonably vivid anger pooling in your eyes and your arms that you can physically feel.

It’s infuriating, that knot.

I’ve got the most chaotic, twisted up, wreck of knots I’ve ever experienced, and I don’t really understand.

It’s frustrating, trying to unravel it by myself. Nobody can really help; I simply have to just experience things and learn about them on my own– which is very difficult, in my honest opinion. I have no idea what I’m doing.

How do you get to know yourself?

I am a firm believer in the idea that no one can teach experience. It does not matter how good at communicating you are; there is nobody on this planet who can give you the wisdom of experiencing something firsthand.

People can tell you who and what you are, but until you know it, until you believe it because you experienced it, you have no clue what they’re talking about.

I have a very frustrating trait for those around me, and that is the fact that I do not understand something until it is directly in front of me in the exact context it needs to be, in the exact mindset I have to be in. Repeat the same simple sentence over and over again until you’re blue in the face– try it, go ahead. “The clouds are grey today.” Now say it twice. Say it a thousand times. Until I’m looking up at the sky with the intention of seeing, not just looking, I’ll always take your words in and hear what I want to hear.

This makes actually important situations pretty difficult to manage, as someone could tell me I’m acting a certain way or have an issue that needs solving or something that’s important to them, and until I’ve got it in my perspective in a way that makes sense to me, there’s nothing that makes it any easier to understand. This would be difficult enough to deal with; however, I also have no idea what I don’t know. I think I understand everything. I think the thoughts in my brain that are connecting to what someone says are what I’m supposed to be hearing. In my mind, there’s no possibility that they could mean something else, and I’m just misinterpreting. That’s not a thought I have until we discuss it in the future, and it’s too late– I’ve already taken the meaning I found from it and ran with it.

This is what I’ve done with me, with who I am. I’ve taken what I thought I knew and ran with it.

But like most situations, what I thought is not what was.

I’m coming to realizations people have told me about myself dozens of times for years just now, just when they become relevant. Big realizations, big traits and flaws in myself that I had no clue were there.

But the “running with it” characteristic has its upside. The second I realize an issue within myself, the moment I know something is wrong, the foundation is set, and I begin building immediately.

I’m unraveling my knots. I’m trying so hard.

It’s going to take a while, but someday? I’ll have a thousand-yard, significantly-frayed string of yarn whose kinks have finally unwound.

And until then, I’ll smile when the frustration takes hold of my body. I’ll take a deep breath, and I’ll keep unlacing my world one strand at a time.

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