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Kristi Tencarre : Who are you… really?

Who are you… really?

By Kristi Tencarre

How do you answer the question: who are you? Do you give the answer that seems most obvious: "I'm a teacher, a parent, an engineer." Or do you say what you feel you truly are deep down inside, not allowing the years of people telling you to be practical force you to bury your true self.

Dreams die with negative thoughts. Dreams die with pessimism. Dreams do not die with failure; it's what comes after the failure that crushes the dream. It's the loss of hope. It's the giving up that kills the dream.

Believe me I have seen many of my dreams die. I have seen others change into different dreams or be replaced by dreams that surpass the original one — dreams I would never have dreamed, but in dreaming small, it grew into something that I either had not thought of or had the hope to dream. I have even forgotten some dreams.

Big or small, a broken dream hurts. According to how much importance you place on the dream, the hurt seems to grow exponentially. You can stop the hurt in a few ways. One of which is to hide the hurt; bury it deep inside, or cover it up and try to forget it. Eventually, it will find its way out and it may come out in ugly outbursts which you don't fully understand. While your dream is struggling to draw breath and crawl out from the mess, you can carry on with your life. Or, perhaps you lose sight of the point of dreaming and give up on your dreams altogether. You become bitter, jaded, callous, maybe even cynical. Why bother dreaming if it remains just a dream, a pipedream, never to become reality. Isn't it better to have no hope than to lose hope?

Stop that line of thinking! Expressing who you really are is not a mortal sin. Allowing yourself to pursue your creative passions, no matter how deeply buried, is freedom. You may not have all day to pursue your dreams, but with the few minutes you do have, you may be able to let a little bit of your true self out. If you make a conscious choice to allow your creativity to come out to play, you may watch a dying or almost dead flower draw new life from the source and begin to stand up straight, blossom and maybe even bloom into a beautiful flower!

Admitting your dream to yourself is the triumphant key. Acknowledging the dream means it is no longer a hidden desire deep in the soul. It may take a while to be able to go public with the dream, but one day it just may happen.

If you have a dream to be something other than what you are, listen to your true self. Your heart and soul has told you what you already are. Even though you may not be famous for your gifts, it does not stop you from being who you really are. We all wear many faces in this masquerade called life, but the true you does not need a mask. It does not need to be covered up and hidden.

Fame does not necessarily equal success. Fame does not make you what you are not. Fame may get you exposure and financial rewards, but fame does not give you talent. I am sure we can all think of examples of famous people who have branched out in artistic ways and received even more fame for these creative pursuits, but if you are like me, you have wondered where their talent is.

Listen to what your talent is telling you. Listen to when it wants to come out to play and allow it that freedom. I have learned that although I am tired at night and may think sleep is more important than writing, if I do not write down the thoughts buzzing around in my head, they will literally keep me up for hours. Sleep is important, but it will not come if I do not first let out the stuff swimming in frenzied circles inside my head, spinning into even more elaborate tales the longer I let them ferment. When I open up and hear the champagne pop of bubbles spill onto the page, not only am I released of their intensity, but I relax and gain deep satisfaction.

I am learning that it is acceptable, to take the time to pursue my dream. I have learned that it is necessary for me to take the time to journal. Journaling gets the junk out that distracts the artist from focusing on the creative process. To my surprise, my husband, who I feared would react negatively to me turning on the light in bed to write, reacted in a tolerant fashion. He told me one night: "You need to write. It's your window to sanity."

Isaac Asimov said: "I write for the same reason I breathe; for if I didn't, I would die." I understand completely. So, I challenge you: who are you … really? I know you feel it, deep down. Now let that true you out. Go for it!

Allowing yourself to become who you truly are can be difficult. It can be scary especially if you have hidden your deep down desires for an extended period of time. Digging them up and allowing them to resurface can be a long process. They may be afraid of the light. You may be afraid of letting them out. Think of this process as a journey. Is it really the destination that is the goal or the actual trip?

Let your dream come out from its hiding place. Be gentle with it and allow yourself the freedom to explore. Take baby steps at first. Banish discouraging thoughts and the safety of giving up. This is your dream; it belongs to no one but you. Treat it with the respect it deserves. And see where your dream takes you. •

© 2006 Kristi Tencarre

Kristi TencarreKristi Tencarre is a long-time and valued contributor to Creativity Portal, sharing her creative perspective and photo writing prompts with its readers. More »

2/11/06