You at least know someone who’s been in this conversation before…
“What are you going to do after you graduate?”
“I think I’m going to take some time off and find myself.”
What does that even mean? It’s as if we spent our entire life up to that point just being a product of our surroundings. Did we spend our entire infancy, childhood, adolesence, and first part of adulthood wasting our time, energy, and brain cells on being someone else?
Each person who embarks on that quest has their own method and reasons. Some go backpacking in europe, some throw themselves head first into a cause like the peace corps, some isolate themselves in the same bedroom they grew up in and do nothing as if to say, “I spent 20 years in this same spot not finding myself, maybe I just didn’t look hard enough.” But what exactly are we looking for?
I went to seminary a few years ago and one of the first projects they assigned was a personal timeline. It wasn’t a “Five year plan,” but actually a look back at your own history. This project was painful and fun. It made me dig deep in to my experiences. I looked at hurts, joys, successes, and failures. I spent weeks asking questions, calling family members, and sorting index cards and post it notes. When it was done, I discovered something under the vast pile of office supplies; I had been there all along.
In order to figure out who I was I didn’t need to embark on some grandios adventure, although who doesn’t love a little grandiosity from time to time. What I needed to do was dig deep, look back, and put all my stuff on the table. I needed to dig through the good, the bad, and the ugly, I’m talking to you platinum blonde senior picture, and not “find” myself but discover who I’ve been all along.
The truth is we are a product of our surroundings and upbringing. We were created by God to do incredible things and equipped through the fires of life with the tools we need to do them. I am not for a second saying that we are defined by our past. We aren’t. I am extremely thankful for that truth considering I spent most of my senior year trying to convince my friends that I was in fact the Real Slim Shady. What I am saying is that your past has given you the tools you need to walk with confidence, clarity, and purpose toward the future to which you are called. Take a deep breath, throw it all out on the table, and find yourself in the story that you’ve been living all along.
What has your passed equipped you with for the future?
If you’d like info on my personal timeline project and how to create your own fill out the contact form on the “Who is Brandon Hair” page and let me know!