At long last, I have finally decided to tackle the next topic in the 100 theme challenge, #16…questioning. Great…this is why I don’t do these very often. But this list of 100 topics would surely not be called a “challenge” if it wasn’t, well, challenging, so I suppose that only comes with the territory. So…questioning. What does this mean to me? Aside from the fact that I am currently questioning what I should write about. Yeah. Not funny. When I think of questioning, I think of a question we probably all encounter at least once in our lives. Who am I?
No, I don’t have amnesia, but thank you for your concern.
Yes, I know who I am, but really, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has asked this. How do we define ourselves? This is especially difficult when we’re young because our interests and attitudes to the world change with reckless abandon. Our views on what we want out of life changes. We are not the same person now that we were when we were young. And sometimes I would wonder, who am I, really? What really defines me when I change from year to year and when the person I look back on seems so foreign compared to who I am now?
At long last, however, I think I’ve finally reached that comfortable, steady spot in my life where things aren’t changing so much anymore. It took some time, but I don’t think I need to question who I am any longer. I used to want certain things. I used to want to make lots of money and have a big house, so I originally thought I’d go to college and become a doctor. I also used to want to be an author and publish novels. I’ve tried many things, some of which suited me and some that did not. Writing original stories did not. Art did not. Video games in particular did, and this is one area in which I can mark my changes throughout the years because gaming has spanned a longer period of my life than almost anything else, even friendships and places I’ve lived. When I look back on a game that I used to love, and all of my earlier affection for it is gone, it tells me I have changed. On the other hand, there are many games I still hold dear, and to me, when I find something that I still love after all this time has passed, it feels almost like a string connecting my past and future selves. In a way, I can pinpoint one part of me that hasn’t changed. And if this small thing has remained constant within me, then surely I can consider it a true part of myself.
Fleeting fancies come and go and eventually fall away altogether, and all that’s left afterward are the constants of our personality. We all refine ourselves as we get older, and I now have a better understanding of who I am. I am a gamer, and at this point, I don’t see that changing. I love writing, but fan fiction is the only kind that holds interest to me because I get to explore a universe I already know and care about. I love cosplay, and I have also learned that I enjoy certain forms of attention more than I ever thought I would, which is especially baffling, considering I typically go out of my way to avoid being noticed in most other circumstances. This unexpected discovery came about when I found how much I love having my picture taken at the comicon or performing onstage at the masquerade or even just how much I relish every view my Youtube videos receive.
Even more vital, I also realize that money is not all that important. It is, to a point, as we all need food and shelter and security, but I’d rather be happy. In recent years, I’ve found that I enjoy computer software and web design, which makes me far happier than I think any of my previous career choices would have. I don’t want to be a doctor, and I also would far rather write novels for the fun of it as I do now than to write things I don’t care for just to get a salary.
The questioning in my life has come to an end. I probably can’t define myself in so many words because people are too complicated for that, but the knowledge is there, and knowing who I truly am feels like a far more sincere way of living. Finding yourself is a process, not a single revelation. One of those particular days, I went through my possessions and got rid of everything I no longer cared for. On another day, I cut my hair. On another, I let go of hurtful memories. I let go of the past so I could make room for the future. Questioning is important because it leads to an answer, and in this case, I have found mine.
A Questionable Duck?