If someone asked you who you are, would you know the answer? Deep down to your core? No doubts or deviations?
Okay. If you know who you are, do you live that reality? Does your day-to-day involve you embodying your soul’s purpose and potential? Or are you like me—nearly 31 years old and only just stepping into my light and my truth that I have hidden from the world for years?
Who Am I?
I have recently been asking that to myself. I used to say I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted to do. That I wanted to “do everything” and because of that I couldn’t decide, so I did nothing. The truth is, I have always known who I am at my core. I have just been too scared to let her shine.
For as long as I can remember, I created. Stories, songs, poems, thoughts, feelings; I even used to design my own magazine covers and write the articles inside. I wrote my first book when I was 10 or 12. I don’t remember the subject matter, except the young protagonist got pregnant underage (risqué!), and I know I printed out the entire book and “bound it” (stapled it) and kept it under the desk in my bedroom. I would periodically take it out and read it, turning the stapled pages, imagining it was a real book with a cover. I think I even designed the cover itself.
At school, I excelled in English, adoring the stories we had to read and then the film adaptations that we got to watch afterwards. From William Shakespeare to Louis Sachar, I lost myself in the stories and the characters. My mum would find me in my room reading day and night, dark or light. I buried myself among the mothball coats of the wardrobe that led to Narnia, packed my suitcase to follow Rusty Dickinson to boarding school and her little cabin the woods, channelled my inner-witch to befriend Mary Newbury, joined Torak to run with the wolves, and fell in love with Rob Wilkins when Jess Mestriani did. My extensive reading and getting lost in the stories were to not only lose myself among the pages, but to eventually tell my own stories on my own pages one day. To hold the paperback in my hands, to smell the pages, to lose myself in my own story, my own creation.
Reading was an escape—from everyday life, from emotions, from facing fears. And though I excelled in English at school and college, when the time came to go to university and study English, I bailed. Burned out from my school and sixth-form days, I couldn’t comprehend spending more years in education and not being able to see the end goal materialize at the end of that sacrifice, I chose not to go. Instead, I went back to college (sixth-form), albeit a different one, and studied two years of music practice. Guess what? I was still telling stories through my songs, getting lost in the lyrics and the music composition and the words on the pages of my notebooks.
You might ask, then, why did I not leave college after two years and pursue music? Or write my first novel? The truth: I was scared. Scared of the unknown, scared of figuring out how to navigate my way to achieving my dreams, scared of my dreams themselves. I was afraid of my own light and its brightness. My parents had both had very safe, normal jobs, so the thought of their eldest child branching out to do something as farfetched as become a writer or work in film or music was too off the charts. I think their fear of the unknown projected onto me and I didn’t know how to pursue my dreams. Instead, I floundered in my career path, being too over-qualified for the jobs I didn’t desire but would pay well but underqualified for the ones I wanted. Instead, I settled for a Library Assistant role, content among the bookshelves each day, and eventually moved into the corporate world of aviation, a job I never envisioned doing, yet I stayed because I enjoyed succeeding and being told I was good at it. But I also stayed out of fear and comfort, two of the strongest human emotion contenders.
So, I buried my creativity, almost without realizing. Apart from writing the odd poem here and there, my writing ceased. I didn’t create anything. Instead, I excelled in my career to an extent, yet I also felt like I’d gone nowhere. I numbed myself with everything I could to turn the noise off in my head and stay the path of my “success”. I kept my inner talents secret, and when I did occasionally share with others, I was shot down. Once, at a fancy dinner with a well-known movie man, he asked me why I was a “closeted writer”, like I was ashamed and it was stupid of me to hide it. The disdain in his voice and his pitying look should have enabled me to rise up and own my talents; instead, I sorely retreated back into my shell and once again hid my light from the world. It took turning 30 and doing a lot of inner work for my higher-self to realize that I was completely out of alignment with my true path and the core of what I am here on earth to do. The year of my 30th birthday, my creativity switch was once again activated as if at complete random and I rediscovered my passions for creating like I never had before. I launched a podcast, started a blog, and literally felt myself getting drunk on creativity in a whole new way.
Memories, long lost in the archives of my brain, came flooding back each day—writing and painting as a child, reading books on my bedroom floor, excelling at school in poetry—I had been telling myself for song long that I created art when I was younger because it was a coping mechanism from my parents’ divorce. It’s true, it was, but that was just the inspiration at the time. The creator inside of me wasn’t born from the childhood I had, the creator inside of me all along; she soaked up inspiration around her from all aspects of life, but the life had been living in my 20s was too off-course for her to find that inspiration she needed to create. Turning 30 also gave me a new attitude: I no longer cared what others thought or projected on to me. I was going to own my art, own my passions, and show the world what I was capable of. But first, that required one thing: to announce who I AM. Who I Am, at my core.
I am, at my core, a creator. It is my deepest passion. I write, I have a podcast, I have a blog, I have a Medium profile. I want to build my podcast as a brand, I want to publish my memoirs, I want to write a TV screenplay. I want to do it all, because all of these things are about creating and telling stories, which I have been doing my entire life. This is the light I hold within me: the light of a creator. It is bright and beautiful and I am now ready to own it. I used to guilt-trip myself into not going to university, telling myself I’d “missed the boat”. Now I truly believe that I needed to live some life – the good, the bad, the scary, the heart wrenching – to step into my true alignment on earth.
Over the last year, I have worked a lot on myself. I have written and blogged, shared my vulnerability, held a platform for other people’s stories on my podcast, and very much started to feel completely misaligned in this world. What I do currently and Who I Am are not in-sync. But that’s okay. I have been lost in the deep, unforgiving forests of life for too long. I have stumbled through dense trees, not knowing where I belong or how to find my truth. I have fallen down, picked myself up, held space for myself as darkness fell, and rose again with the sun at dawn. And now, as I pick apart my current existence and my path ahead, the forest is clearing. I can see sunlight and a cliff face. The wind whips at my hair; my bare feet scrape along the rocks. I stand at the precipice, the raging waters below me. The water and the trees show me my two futures. One has rapids and is unknown. The other is the way I have always known, the way I know too well. I don’t want to get lost in the forests again.
It is time to step into my power, to step into my truth. I was never truly lost in the forests, I just had to find my own way out. And so, here I stand. On the precipice, on the metaphorical cliff edge, ready to take the plunge. I trust that God will guide me so beautifully to full alignment with my truth. The wind whistles the age-old question at me: “Who Are You?”
And so, with a smile, I scream back “I AM –”
The wind catches my words as I dive, but the sky holds my statement, like the clouds have been waiting for these words all along.
I Am A Creator in all beautiful forms. And like magic, the sun shines a little brighter once I speak my truth. And as I dive into the depths of the water below, I AM seen, I AM heard, I AM held. My truth has been embodied, and I AM no longer afraid. I AM ready to take flight and surrender to the beauty of what the world holds for me. I can’t wait.