The way my life works is that I get bombarded with messages from the Universe when I need them and I try to take the hints. In my meditation the other day, the question was posed “Who are you?” And right now I’m slightly addicted to Moana (don’t judge me) and the constant theme throughout that story is “do you know who you are?” Since this kept coming up, I felt like it was worth investigating. This doesn’t seem like it should be a difficult question. Who am I? Simple, right? And yet, for some reason, this simple question left me completely bewildered and doing nothing but asking more questions. As it turns out, I am so simple that it makes me complicated. My simplicity comes rife with contradictions and complexities. People ask me what my hobbies are, my interests. Can I provide a list? Sure, but it is always changing as I am always trying new things. For the longest time I couldn’t even answer the question of whether I was a city girl, or if I preferred the country. I’ve lived in both and have loved them both. The reason? I just don’t care. I don’t care where I am. I don’t care what I’m doing. I’m honestly so easy to please it’s a little ridiculous and my being so laid-back has actually caused problems in past relationships. But really,
the only thing I’ve ever cared about is who I’m with.
Do I have dreams? Of course. I dream of being a writer. I dream of being on stage giving a Ted Talk. I dream of what my home will look like (a small cabin by the water surrounded in natural beauty where I can sit on the porch and just breathe it in, in case you were wondering). I dream of what I’d like to be doing: mountain biking, walking through the woods, camping, kayaking on the lake in front of my home, sitting in the window to watch the snow or the rain fall, just to name a few. But here’s the catch, could all of that change and still be ok? Yes. Because at the end of the day they are just my preferences, none of them are THE dream. So as I considered all of that, it brought up another extremely difficult question. What is my dream?
Throughout my entire life it has bothered me when asked what my dream was. I thought I had to have a concrete, tangible answer that revolved around a career, a home, a place, or some huge aspiration. I have dream versions of each of these things, but without ever being able to identify any of those things as THE dream, I felt that I was broken somehow. I felt I was missing the secret to life; I had missed the boat somewhere and, like Moana, was constantly asking what was wrong with me. I lived the majority of my life believing that I did not, in fact, actually have a dream.I could not have been more wrong.
I have realized that my dream, THE dream for me is Love.
That’s all. Sharing this life with someone, having someone be a witness to my life and I to his- that is my dream. I don’t care where we are. I don’t care what we are doing. I’ll try anything and participate in any activity and I will have an absolute blast doing it because he will be there, and I know that whoever I’m sharing this life with will be fun and make me laugh. At the core will be an incredible friendship. The other details don’t matter. We will build a beautiful life together no matter what, because that’s what love is to me. Love is beauty. It’s passion and romance, light and dark, happy and heartbreaking, and every other possible thing, but most of all it’s the only thing I’ve ever come across in this life that is completely worth it. It’s worth the pain, worth the struggle, worth fighting for. No home or career or activity in my mind would be worth all of those things. But love is. I would go to the ends of the earth for it and as I lie dying at the end of what I hope is a very long life, I know that the love that filled my life will be the only thing I will care about and that’s what dreams are made of, right?
However, I need to make something clear- I am not naive to the reality that love is a hard dream to have. I recognize that I have pretty much no control over it. I know that there is a possibility that I will be single forever and I have to be ok with that too. Forcing it is not an option.
What I think most people forget is that for love to be the dream or even just a dream among others, it has to include the love you have for yourself.
My dream is not to just have romantic love, but to also love myself enough to never settle for less than the real thing. To never give space in my heart to someone who doesn’t appreciate me, someone who isn’t honest with me, someone who doesn’t love me the way I deserve to be loved, someone who doesn’t make me feel good about myself, or anything else that doesn’t represent what I believe love is. Being alone is preferable over all of those scenarios. A warm body does not make a relationship, nor does just having someone to do things with. If you can’t be yourself 100% and know that when you can no longer do things that you will have something to say to each other and have a beautiful friendship at the heart of it all- it isn’t right.
If it isn’t real, it isn’t worth it.
Once you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.
So what’s my point? This is supposed to be about who I am and here I am talking about dreams and relationships. My point is that I’ve realized they go hand in hand. I have come to an understanding in this that we can’t really know who we are if we don’t know what we want out of this life- what our dream really is. What drives us? The person I am exists on those principles of friendship and love. I am simple. I am complex. Always a teacher, hopefully a great friend, a runner and a yogi. I persevere and am determined. I am strong, compassionate, intelligent and wise, and also extremely independent, stubborn, and competitive along with a plethora of other qualities- good and bad- that in their sum may begin to provide an answer to the most difficult question I’ve ever been asked. I am me, and thank god I’m sure, there is only one of me, but how do you put something like that into words? I know all of what I am and all that I desire to be, but mostly what I know is that it is ever-evolving as it should be. Who we are should always be growing and changing, while the fundamental “whats” may remain the same.
The greatest joy of this investigation is that I do now have an answer to both of those questions. Since they go together, I see now that the answer to who I am is also the answer to my greatest desire, my biggest dream. I am love, through and through. There was a time that I would have been embarrassed to identify that as my dream and actually say it out loud, but not anymore. If anything in this life is going to define me, I want it to be that. Let it shine out of every single pore of my being with pride.
Who am I? I am LOVE.