Growing up I was a very heavy kid. I have no recollection of ever being small. I’m not saying I was just a tall kid. No. I was an obese child since the age of 10, and classmates, teammates, and coaches never let me forget it. For the record, this is not a sympathy post. Let’s put it into perspective: as a kid, the worst thing I experienced was bullying because I was fat. I am not traumatized. All I know is this is where it began. This is where I started constructing my shield. My shield was composed of “white lies” and half-truths that followed me into adulthood. When I reached my late 20’s I did not know my core values, which made living with integrity very difficult, if not impossible. I was showing the world what it wanted to see. Unfortunately, I had been telling this story for so long, reinforcing my shield to deflect cruel words or actions hurled toward me, that I do not think my authentic self had a fighting chance unless someone cracked the shield, thereby undoing all the damage I had done to myself and to those close to me.
So someone did.
It would be easy to say the moment the shield cracked my story changed. Not even close.
I had been telling so many stories that it took months, if not a couple years, to unravel the sticky web. I am finally to a point where I am comfortable admitting my mistakes, taking ownership of my actions, and making sure the story I’m creating in my head reflects the story that is happening. In every situation I make the conscious attempt to represent my most authentic self.
What does this have to do with identity? Identity is confusing to me. It’s latin roots say “identical” or “same”, but synonyms use words like “uniqueness”. All I know is when you wrap personal identity around fitting in versus being, you tend to morph into the thing easiest to hide behind. Your shield. Personally, I am done hiding.
Let me know if you can relate to my story. <3