2019 was a hard year for me. I lost a lot of things and went through a lot of hardships. One of the things that I lost in 2019 was a sight of who I was. I was insecure, making mistakes that I have yet to forgive myself for, and I lost friendships. All of these things aided in me not knowing who I was at the end of the day.
If I asked myself “Who am I?” at any point before 2019 I could give you an answer. I’ve always been self-aware, and I’ve always known my strengths and weaknesses. Towards the end of 2019, that changed, and the answer became “I don’t know”. I realized that I didn’t fit the label of being weird, so when I removed that label from me it made me figure out who I am beyond that word.
I had to ask myself tough questions. I asked myself if my actions were guided by my values. I asked myself what my values were. I questioned what my passions were. Not knowing the answers to these questions created the most confusing and scariest time of my life. I heavily relied on my friendships and the people in my life. I was scared to be alone with my thoughts. That didn’t feel right because I am someone who appreciates my alone time.
Eventually with the help of therapy, family, friends, and being kind to myself, I began to enter this stage of exploration. I began to explore all of my interests. From writing to traveling, what gets me excited to get out of bed in the morning. I didn’t force any of this. I didn’t let outside factors influence me like I had done so in the past.
That’s a big portion as to how I sort of managed to lose sight of who I am. At one point, I wanted to impress everyone in my life. I didn’t see the value that I brought to the table. I felt that I could only bring the best version of myself to the table or else people wouldn’t like me. I wasn’t confident and unapologetically myself. Instead, I was a filtered version of myself 99% of the time. I deliberately made sure nobody knew every single detail about me because I didn’t want anyone to see who I fully was. I felt that if people saw every side of me, they wouldn’t want to be my friend, or they wouldn’t want to associate themselves around me. Honestly, that has happened in the past and it hurt.
I didn’t see my worth or importance in this world. I felt that I was disposable and that if I stopped talking to everyone, nobody would notice. Not only is that a terrible feeling to feel, but it is far from the truth.
Through this stage of exploration, I began to find myself again. I realized who I was, my values, my passions, and a sense of confidence. I realized that I am important, I am worthy, and I am NOT disposable. I am valued because I am myself. I realized that I don’t need to impress people and put up this fake persona. There is only one Kathryn Elisabeth DeBois on this planet and that is me. I am who I am, if you don’t like it then we don’t have to be friends. I need to embrace that. (I am a dope person, great friend, and you should totally want to be my friend because I truly am one of the greatest, just saying.)
This stage of being unapologetically myself despite my flaws is a new stage. When I saw new, I mean brand spanking new. If I was a new car, I’d still have the new car smell and under 100 miles, that’s how new. I am still understanding myself, but I like the new me. I smell nice and drive even nicer than how I did before.
I found myself after a while and it was a journey that was hard, scary, but it led to the greatest thing in my life. Me.
@dayswithdebois on Instagram