Ho-Jon: “How can I ever thank you?”
Hawkeye Pierce: “You just go and be the best you you can be.”
“Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned? I know it sounds absurd, but please tell me who I am…”
— Supertramp, “The Logical Song”
“Who are you? Who, who, who, who?”
— The Who
At my CrossFit gym last night, we had a tearful good-bye to a friend (one of our members) who was moving out to the western part of the state, along with her husband and children, for a new life. One thing she said struck me: “I’m not the same person I was when I walked into this place. How is this new person going to be able to adapt to a new place? Am I going to be able to find another Ray, or another [name], or another [another name]…?”
I said to her, “all you can do is be you.”
I said that, and I believe that. But what, exactly, does that mean?
I could probably write an entire book about that (and some people have), but I’ll spare you the gory details. Besides, I’m no psychologist, and what I say might be worth about as much as a politician’s alt-facts (don’t get me started). But, since this is a ‘blog article, and I write what I think, well…
For starters, you’re the one person whom you’ll get to know the best. You know your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses, your tastes, your interests, and so on, better than anyone else. You’re the one person over whom you have complete, 100% control (disclaimer: I am not talking clinically; that is another discussion about which I know nearly nothing). If you don’t know yourself, if you don’t take stock of who you are, you’ll start having issues.
Knowing yourself leads you to something else: having confidence and faith in yourself. If you know yourself, you know, for the most part, what you’re capable of doing. I’m not always sure as to what I’m capable of handling, but I do know myself enough to know what I can do.
This bring me to another thought: being you also means testing your limits. Testing your limits means stepping outside your comfort zone. Are you capable of doing more? Often, you won’t know until you try. And once you do try, how does it make you feel? Proud? Accomplished? Can you do even better the next time you try? The point is, you will always be you, but you are never static. We are always changing. Who you are now is probably not the same you from years ago. And who you will be in several years won’t be the same you that you are now.
The world is a scary place. It is human nature to fear what we don’t know. But the world around us often defines who we are. Who we are depends on what kind of cards we’re dealt. We are often shaped by the changes we face. And in the end, the way you deal with change is to continue being the same, ever-changing you that you’ve always been.