There is a myth perpetuated by society that consistent and predictable behavior is a precursor to knowing who you are. Bullshit.
There also exists a popular myth that exploring the world using anything other than a map or a compass means instability, immaturity, and lack of direction – particularly when it comes to knowing who you are. More bullshit.
Further to this line of thinking, there is an even greater myth that jumping on any one particular bandwagon is the only route to success; that creativity is valuable so long as it is exercised within one’s area of expertise; that career paths are life paths because, after all, these are the paths that lead to knowing who you are. Obviously bullshit.
I know who I am. I am someone who needs not identify with a single persona at all times, or commit to one narrow and lonely path in life. I enjoy many interests, and I will maintain my passion for each and every one of them, despite their occasional collisions. I am open to possibilities, constantly and continuously allowing myself to enter new arenas, to have new experiences, to explore new aspects of myself.
I am an out-of-the-box thinker, dedicatedly so, and I am open to the possibility that although I know who I am, I may never fully grasp what I am; and that what I am is forever evolving.
So to everyone out there who feels like they still don’t have it figured out, and to those whose interests could fill a hundred lifetimes, I say this: Ignore the bullshit, because those who think they have it all figured out have simply decided what they are. Most don’t have a clue who they are.
NOTE 1: This post was inspired by my experiences in grad school, where it appears that those who don’t follow “the path” are often snubbed, slighted, and judged. Life’s never that simple people.
NOTE 2: To anyone who believes that these myths are not so, make sure you spend some time in some sort of institutional setting that is highly politicized. These myths may not represent people’s ideals, but they absolutely reflect the attitudes and opinions encountered on a day-to-day basis. I am continuously surprised by how close-minded people who are dedicated to scientific research can be – to the point that it makes me question the objectivity of science altogether.