Who Am I?

Hello, and belated Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I wrote, with good reason; in the last six months of 2020 I was accepted into grad school, got a new job, and married the person I love in a tiny ceremony. Busy, to say the least!

Now that we’re in the New Year, I want to kick off this blog once again. My reason for starting it in the first place was to get to know myself better. So in that spirit, I’m going to answer questions from this list over the next few Sundays. Here are the first eight:

Where’s your life headed?

My life is headed towards becoming a writer; or more specifically, becoming myself through writing. This is my path. Sometimes I stray from it, but I always come back to it. My great dream and hope is to find out who I am and discover true freedom through writing. There is so much to explore. I feel that I’ve just scratched the surface.

How do you think you will die?

I think about this often. The Albert Camus quote sometimes comes to mind – “Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter.”

I hope to live long, and will prepare for that happy outcome. However, living through my brother’s untimely death (he was just 24 years old) shocked my system and I sometimes question if I too will die young.

What are the highest and lowest points of your life?

The highest hasn’t come yet – although spending a year in Southern California in 2014-2015 was awesome and was a critical growth phase. Also, my wedding day that just happened on December 11, 2020! That felt like a grand achievement. My low points were my mid-twenties, when I didn’t know how to care for, forgive, or love myself. My thirties have been so much better; I should have just skipped from 19 to 30.

What is holding you back from being the person you want to be?

My habit of people pleasing, which I probably first developed as a kid to combat my sensitivity and anxiety. Now that habit needs to die. I have learned I need to disengage and spend time alone in order to feel like myself. At the same time, I want to be more open and free in social situations. I want to not feel repressed and self-censored.

How have your strengths helped you to succeed? How have your faults hindered you?

Strengths? My empathy and sensitivity to others has helped me in school, work, and relationships. My writing skills have opened doors for me. My sense of humor and ability to make others laugh have also helped. Faults? Over-reliance on self, fear of asking for help, and a deep distrust of the world have all hindered me.

What are your biggest goals in life? What progress have you made in attaining them?

My biggest goals in life are to travel and to come into my own as a writer. I have travelled extensively throughout the U.S. and have visited Belgium, Canada, the Caribbean, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, and the U.K.; next up are Spain and Japan. My writing journey is just starting – but I am working on a fiction novel. Money isn’t the end goal, but within five years I hope to be able to support my family through the pen.

Who are you really? Who is behind the mask that you show to the rest of the world?

What a terrifying question. I don’t know who I am, although I’ve got a few clues. It certainly isn’t whom I project to the world. Others may know me know better than I know myself. There is an innocent kid who I still strongly identify with. Below him there is someone much fiercer and more competitive. If I let that person out, I’d be risking failure or even annihilation – although I might also attain astounding success.

There is another part of me that is intuitive and quite sensitive. I am working hard to protect that person, because they give me what feels like superpowers: acute insight, clear thought, compassion, and spiritual peace. That’s my inner Jedi. There’s a Sith within me too – a cold, detached monk who detests the world. They fight with each other.

In the deepest places I’ve only reached in meditation or sleep, there is a dancing mystic. That mystic offers total freedom and makes impossible things seem possible. I’ve only met that person a few times, and never on purpose, but I’m always profoundly affected by their presence within me.

How would you react if there were irrefutable proof that God doesn’t exist? How about if there were irrefutable proof that God does exist?

If God didn’t exist? This was handled fantastically in the movie The Seventh Seal. I would mourn the news, but I would try to move on with life, and relish the good moments while seeing myself as part of something much larger than myself. I’d try for daily gratitude and to create/participate in uplifting community with those around me.

If God did exist? This is my current bias, so I’d probably feel a keen mix of fear, relief, and joy all at once. At times I’ve felt both ways; at present I do believe in God but I’m not convinced of God’s existence, if that makes sense.

Looking forward to answering more questions next Sunday!

M.C. Haile

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