TITLE: Who am I?
By Elizabeth White
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
You said something to me today which I have not forgotten. You said that you could trust me, that I had a strong identity, that I knew who I was. You cannot imagine how much this meant to me, because, you see, my friend, I feel that I don’t know who I am.
If I could describe my life it would be in this, A search for reality.
The girl sits beside her friend. I can see the steps, the zigzag stair-case, the rusty blue door to D11. The green paint on the stairs was peeling; the railing too showed signs of weathering from the years it had been left not repainted. The girl’s friend is staring at the ground, her eyes watering from trying to hold back her tears, but she would not cry, she was stronger than that. Meanwhile, her friend silently wondered how to help, how to be there, what it meant to be a friend. That friendship defined the girl. Her life was perfect. She only wanted to help her friend. Her friendship defined her life.
I was that girl…
Do you see what I mean, my friend? That was high school. My life was perfect. I had no problems. I had no identity. I could see my friends, whose lives were so different to mine. They faced some enormous trials, but at least they were real. I longed to have that… to be real…
She is older now. It’s midnight and she is awake. She should sleep; she has to work early in the morning. She’s still so angry. The argument was vividly replaying in her mind. Her mother in anger had picked up her mobile phone and thrown it to the ground. It separated into three pieces, surprisingly only the back piece had broken, and the sim card was missing, presumably disappearing somewhere underneath her mothers wardrobe. She had insisted on looking for it. She was angry. She despised her mother’s favourite statement, “I’m sick…” It seemed to be her excuse for everything, every argument, every hurtful word… The morning came, sooner than expected, her father informing her that her mother was in hospital having taken an overdose the previous night.
That’s near the end of high school, my friend. Do you see now? I had no problems. My mother, she was going through a lot. I was never upset by the fact that my mother was ill, I cared so much more about the arguments, the little things she said. She said it was because she was sick, that she didn’t really mean it. It bothered me that I didn’t care for her. I wasn’t worried about her. I didn’t feel like it anyway. Yet, it wasn’t real. It wasn’t me. My life was perfect. At least my mother was real. I wanted that… to be real…
Again, she is sitting in the hallway, the white sliding door is closed and the phone cord stretched around the corner. Her friend, he needs encouragement. He tells her that he has been doubting God, doubting his faith, wondering if God is there. He needs a friend, someone to understand. He asks her if she has ever been in his position. Honestly, no… she thinks… her thoughts forming an answer she could not give. You are so lucky to be going through a hard time in your faith, at least it’s real, my life is nothing, nothing goes wrong. All I have is times of nothingness in my faith, at least there is something wrong for you. Me, I have no reason to feel the way I do. I wish I was real…
Do you see now, my friend? Maybe you are doubting your words now. I feel that I’m not real. Other people have real lives, but not me. I’m little miss perfect. Nothing goes wrong. I should be happy all the time. I am so lucky.
I’ve never had anyone close to me die. I’ve never doubted my faith. I’ve never had depression.
I want to cry out. I want to tell you that my life is real. I want to tell you about the hard times I’ve faced, the times where God has seen me through.
But my friend, then I look into the life of another and my life loses it’s meaning. What is this time that I can hardly explain, what is an argument with my mother compared to that little girl over there? Do you see her? Both her parents died today. There was an accident. Or over there, that boy. He will be in hospital tomorrow because he tried to kill himself.
My friend, I yearn to be real. I want my life to have meaning. I don’t feel real.
Tell me, does anyone else feel this way? Is anyone else miserable because their life is so perfect?
You know, my friend, I’m remembering something else. I’m not sure how it works yet, but I guess that it’s true. Maybe I’ll let you know once I’ve worked it out…
I find who I am in Christ.
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