In Genesis 1:1, the verse reads: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This verse is one that really struck a chord with me and made me look deep within myself both spiritually and philosophically. While yes, we know how we are made into human beings and we know physically where we come from, the question of who/what we are remains the same. Who are we on this vast, grand Earth that we live on?
This is a question that haunts me, not necessarily in a bad way, but in the way of change. This is a question I asked myself three months ago while I was sitting in my room packing for one of the biggest moves of my life. Moving should be exciting and fun, so why was I sitting on my bed, filled with dread at the thought of leaving my family and friends behind? Why did my chest feel tight and my heart palpitate as I looked over my itinerary once more? If I am being honest, I wasn’t excited to move; in fact, I was scared shitless. I’ve never lived on my own. Sure, I’ve been home alone, but that is completely different than moving to a new province. I realized I needed to really sit with myself and find the root of my fear.
As I said goodbye on that rainy Tuesday morning to my dad and sisters, then my mom and one of my best friends, tears welled in my eyes. Saying goodbye to my family and friends, knowing that while I may see them again, I am embarking on another chapter of my life, one that causes me to leave behind everyone I love and care for. Don’t get me wrong, in retrospect, this is one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself in a solid two years, yet as I awaited to board the plane to Ontario to meet my new life, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. Like I was floating above my body, watching this young woman walk to the plane, awkwardly place her luggage overhead, and sit at her seat waiting to fly, all the while making a TikTok about how excited she was.
How does this relate to questioning who you are? For me, it comes in the way that we deal and adapt to change. I really hold strong to my faith and trust in the universe that everything happens for a reason. Yes, even the obstacles that we may face. There is no such thing as a perfect, clean, happy-go-lucky life, and anyone who tries to portray it that way is either lying or is in denial. So, what then comes of the questioning of who we are? How do we deal with the changes that come and which lie ahead?
For me, I found that having my family around, keeping in contact with them (while setting boundaries) allowed me to make the transition a little smoother than I thought. However, I had days where I was extremely overwhelmed with anxiety and fear of being on my own, that voice inside my head told me on multiple occasions to just pack up and go home. I’d cry myself to sleep, feeling as though I was drowning in an endless sea of not being good enough, questioning why I came to this University in the first place. It wasn’t until about a month ago that I had an epiphany, which changed the game and made me see things clearly.
The existential questions of “Who am I?” “Why am I here? and” “What is my purpose?”, I have found, comes from being rooted in fear. From being told we aren’t good enough, aren’t smart enough, from being questioned for our choices that we make. When we really sit with ourselves and relearn our likes, dislikes, hobbies etc., we make room for that fear to be removed from our lives. But it essentially starts with you having to sit down, look inward, and ask the tough questions at hand. This ties into the way I look at spirituality and my faith to release that fear. It is no easy feat by any means to do the task at hand that requires energy when spoons are low. But start where you are, one step at a time, and if you find yourself low on energy, low on those spoons, restart where you are again. Life isn’t a race. It’s a marathon. You only have this one life, so you must make the choice: Are you going to stand by and watch life happen, or are you going to make it happen?