Who Am I?
Saturday, August 03, 2013
Sometimes it wells up inside and you just have to get angry...determined, fed-up, done, ready. I cannot take it anymore - the looking at myself in the mirror and not seeing the person I know is hiding inside me. I met her again today - that woman inside me. I saw her in a 17 year old boy scout. You see, I am an Assistant Scoutmaster and we had an overnight leadership retreat last night. It's a time when all the boys get together and determine their direction, set their goals accordingly, and map out a plan. In the midst of all that, he stood and excused himself. With PT gear on and a smile on his face, he started toward the door. He didn't try to draw attention to himself, just a quick exchange with the Scoutmaster to say he would be back, and off he went. "I'll be back in about an hour-and-a-half," he said. We went on about our business.
A short time later he breezed in, ready to get back on task. We asked him how practice went and again with a smile on his face, he told us he'd run 7 miles. I stared at this young man with awe and in truth a sense of envy. He was dedicated, to his boy scout troop, his cross-country team, and his own goals. He was cheerful, yet quietly determined. He was the me I see on the inside - the me when I would bound out of my house at midnight and head to the gym; me when I had an enthusiastic fire pushing me to do one more front kick; me when I climbed myself out of what felt like a bottomless pit of ill health and all the way to the top of Mt. Fuji. Where have I been, damn it?
I sat there today listening to these amazing young men forging their path together, forming individual goals that align with the larger picture of their group. I heard myself at one point say to a young man, ""As a leader, it's not okay to say, "Do as I say, not as I do."" What the... Did I really just hear myself say that? I don't know how many times I have heard myself say, "That which you think, you are." If I wake up, look in the mirror, and I'm obscured by my own shell, then there is a disconnect. Currently, I am not who I think I am.
This begs some questions...interestingly, some of the same ones I found myself asking the boys today, starting with, "Who are you?" It took them a moment to understand exactly what I meant. "I mean when you wake up in the morning and crawl out of bed, what is the first thing you think of? When my 4 year old daughter wakes up, though she's never taken a ballet class in her young life, she can think of nothing but putting on her ballet clothes and twirling in circles." It doesn't matter what she knows, as long as she knows in her heart that she's a ballet dancer!
So who AM I? A homeschool wife, mom, graduate student, Assistant Scoutmaster, non-profit director, singer, rower, archer, martial artist, marathoner, with a strong sense that's it's been too long since I climbed my last mountain!
You never know where you will find yourself...in a child, a stranger, a friend, the woman on the street, a story on tv, or even in the eyes and determination of a boy scout. I wasn't even searching and yet I found myself. I've been gone far too long.