I wrote this on my Twitter tonight: “I am what I am. I can’t be anybody that I am not.”
Although those are my authentic words reflecting what I feel and think inside, the words are not originally mine. Many people have used those words before and it may be difficult to trace back who originally said them. Somebody famous might have published these exact words or some versions of them sometime, somewhere. But even before he or she did, I think those words had been used by many. Such is the nature of shared feelings or reflections. They are so common and widely shared that nobody can claim they are originally and exclusively theirs.
“I am what I am” sounds like a defiant statement made by somebody – or anybody really – who refuses to yield to the pressure of peers or society to conform to their expectations or standards. It’s a rebellious statement, a statement of individuality, of self-confidence in one’s own values and uniqueness. Perhaps that’s what I mean too. I am unique, I am different, and I believe that, as an individual, I have been endowed by the Creator certain qualities and traits that are mine because He wants me to perform certain functions and fill in certain gaps in His grand design of the universe.
The second part of the statement, “I can’t be anybody that I am not,” may seem only to be consequential or emphatic explanation of the first. Indeed, it is. To be what you are, you can’t be anybody but [what] you are. Pretentiousness is exhausting. Lies are a trap that can get you imprisoned your whole life.
I am not going to pretend that I have not pretended to be somebody I am not. I have and probably still am. And that’s exhausting. I am not going to lie to you that I have never lied. I have and definitely still am from time to time. Have I felt that I have been trapped by my own lies? And been imprisoned by the lies I have told? I definitely have and still do. It is this very experience that has awakened in me the yearning for freedom: the freedom to be what I am and to carry myself as I am.
I don’t know how long it is going to take to win that freedom. I have mired in this situation of unfreedom for too long I cannot imagine I will be able to disentangle myself from the snares of my own creation. But the process has begun and I will not turn back.