Who Am I?

Who am I?  Now that is a loaded question and one I have been trying to answer for the last 63 years.  Maybe it is more a question of Who do I think I am?  The first word out of the box is – I am a short, overweight girl with freckles and glasses with no discernible talents that no one likes.  Wow!  That sounds like a real case of Oh Poor Me!   I realize now that everything is perception even though it seems very real.  In the book “Busting Out of The Money Game”, he likens it to a hollowdeck program in Star Trek.  I wrote the script, my part and the parts of everyone else in the scenario.  It also means I can change it any time I want and rewrite it to be different.  But first you have to give yourself credit and appreciation for writing such a detailed and real script.  It shows real creativity and imagination.  So I can write another creative script that is much more loving and positive!

Wait a minute, that is a whole lot to take in at once.  Fortunately I read that after Eckerd Tolle’s “A New Earth”, so it didn’t seem quite as fantastic as it might have at first glance.  Let’s face it, everything is perception, based on your earlier experiences.  Everything seemed to be all about me when I didn’t understand what was happening since there was no frame of reference.  So the next question comes.

Who do I think I am?  That overweight, plain little girl who is the middle child of three girls and doesn’t feel she has any distinction.  She isn’t the oldest, she isn’t the youngest – what is she?  My older sister is a wonderful artist and I know I spent a lot of time in my very young days trying to be just like her – but I wasn’t and that made me feel like a failure, that I wasn’t enough.  Perception.  When I look back, I realize I didn’t look for things I liked and did well, I just decided I was not good enough.  My sister were slender and I seemed to have inherited a double dose of the fat German genes, so sport was not easy for me.  Hmmm, not artistic, not athletic, there didn’t seem to be much for me but reading.  I see now I had a very narrow view of myself and my life.

My parents tell the story of how I made such a racket to get on the bus with my sister to see where it went.  She is 4 years older  than I am and  I ended going to school a year earlier than I should have so I could see where she went.  I may have had an easier time if I had waited a year.   So everyone was always a year older and I didn’t do that well in school, had C’s and a few B’s but math was such a bear.  How many times in Math, Algebra and Geometry did I feel so lost and confused because I didn’t understand it.  It was explained but it didn’t sink in or make it clear and that just gave me that scared, panicky feeling.  I wanted  to burst into tears but of course that wasn’t acceptable.  I didn’t feel I fit in anywhere and recess was no help because I didn’t do well in games.  I felt quite alone, especially when I was made fun of because of my weight.  I remember in 3rd grade when I had to get glasses so I could see the board – I was the only one who had them.  Overweight, freckled, glasses – what a target for teasing.

Junior high and high school were even worse, never asked on a date and I began to feel there was something wrong with me, that I was missing something the other girls had.  Yes, I did a number on myself, yet it felt so real.  I was very glad to graduate from school.  The big question as I was in 10th, 11th and 12th grade was “What do you want to do?  What do you want to be?  I hadn’t a clue.  There wasn’t anything that really hit me and the scary things was the implication that I had to decide now because it would be for the rest of my life.  What if I chose something and didn’t like it?  I was stuck with it.  Maybe that was why not much appealed to me – though in the mid 60’s girls didn’t have a whole lot of choice – teacher, nurse, secretary.  I just told them I wanted to be a teacher just to get them off my back.

I spent 2 years in junior college, 2 years in commercial art school and a year working at Boeing as a tech illustrator before going to Australia to be married. In all those years I have never found my passion – many things I was intrigued by for awhile but nothing that has stuck with me.  Well, I have carried my quilting over several moves but in the last few years there hasn’t been time or energy to continue.  At 63 I am still wondering what I want to be when I grow up.

Now, after reading Eckhart Tolle, I see I was looking at externals, at form to find out who I was.  I was looking at how I looked, what I did, who my friends were because I didn’t know there was any other way to look at it.  According to him, that is Ego, my false self who loves negative, the more the merrier.  She is the one who compares me to others – usually to my detriment – sees lack of things, nothing is ever enough and everything is about me.  She has to be right and anytime she thinks she is being diminished, she get angry and that really revs her up.  She hold grudges and keeps track of all the hurts, slights, resentments, angers, etc. – the little me with the unhappy story.   She thrives on the negative, the more there is, the better she likes it.  It’s all about her.

It’s a relief to begin to see what is going on, that isn’t the real me at all.  It is the me I have been living with for a long time and it has taken awhile to understand and accept it.  Since I have, it has made things a little easier.  Now it is time to find out who I really am, while being more conscious of Ego and what she is doing to undermine it.  She wants the status quo and this threatens her very existence.

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