“Minds are like flowers; they open only when the time is right.” – Stephen Richards

As a young woman I knew who I was. I knew because there were numerous people in my life who had busied themselves analyzing, defining and fitting me within the boundaries of their own perceptions. My parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, classmates, bosses and coworkers – everyone I knew having a hand in the clay and slip of shaping me according to their own beliefs and views.

Later, there came a time in my life, close to thirty-ish, when my quirky little brain woke up and realized I was covered in layers of labels, scribbled with descriptive adjectives, like a character in a not so well written novel.

I peeled a few off to take a closer look. Tall. Clumsy. Average. Shy. Nice. – To name just a few. Some were irrefutable facts – Daughter, friend, stubborn, kind. Others felt like unfair judgements – snobby, backward, random, boring.

It occurred to me that whether these tags were right or wrong, I hadn’t had much say about the way I had been sculpted.

From the time we enter the world we begin to accumulate tags and while we are young and developing our personality and identity we tend to believe the things others tell us about ourselves. We take it to heart. Good or bad, the tags we receive leave a mark like a tattoo on our soul.

Although I am a “late-bloomer”, it is not a big surprise that I began to take notice of all my tags and labels as I walked along the wobbling spring-board in life, from where I would dive into the next chapter of existence. Thirty is an age when many young people first think of themselves as a “real” adult.

I was not so sure I was prepared to take this leap into full-fledged adulthood with my parachute packed the way it was at the time.

I had accumulated so many tags that I did not like, or did not agree with, by then. But who was I really? Did I even know what defined me at the core of my being.? I determined I had to discover my true identity…..

To be continued.

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