If you are like most members of the human race, you were born into a family who immediately set about the task of trying to make you exactly like them.
They quickly told you who you are, what you should like, the tasks you should do from day to day, and what career you should choose.
Then you were released into the world.
You went about life for a while, thinking their plan for you is the only option, until one day, the lights go down, the noise stops, the people leave, and you realize:
You have no idea who you are.
Who are you, really? When your parents leave, when your friends are somewhere else, when your phone is off?
At this point in the article you’ll start to hear a little voice. You know that little thing — the gremlin inside you who asks all those annoying questions like:
Why am I on this planet?
Does life have meaning?
Am I alone?
Yeah, that thing. It’s scary, right? It might be getting louder even now. That’s the thing we’re going to have to face.
The first time I embraced this voice, the first time I challenged it instead of silencing it, I burst into tears in the middle of lunch break. Lost in a corporate jungle, I cried like a baby as the voice screamed:
Who are you?
From this sentence, there are two choices you can make.
The first choice is to grab your electronics, dive in to the warm, unfeeling Internet, and do your best do drown out the voice.
This should be easy. You do it every day. While technology does a great job of connecting us with other people, it does an even better job of removing us from ourselves. What a cruel irony.
Or you can take the second choice: turn off your phone, close this browser, and poke that little voice in the face.
Tell it you don’t know why you’re here, but you’re going to find out.
Tell it you don’t know if your life has meaning to the course of humanity, but it sure has meaning to those around you.
Tell it you aren’t alone.
Who are you?
If the answer is “I don’t know,” congratulations! You are now more self-aware than most.
If you try to answer with your job title or grade in college, look deeper. There’s more to you than that.
There are 7 billion people on this planet and you are unique. None of them can tell you who you are. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that incredible? You are unlike anyone in this universe. Please take a moment to comprehend just how you you actually are.
If you’re still looking for a concrete answer to the question, the truth is, I can’t define this answer for you. Nobody can.
All I can do ask you to think about it.