The Importance of Knowing Who You Are

I was super excited to be applying for what I consider an amazing opportunity with a brand.  I’ve seen so much growth with my blog around consistency and authenticity, and the feeling of accomplishment consumed me immediately after completing the application. I finally felt qualified as a new blogger.

Until these questions popped up; “what’s your ethnicity” and “what’s your nationality”?

The questions caused me great concern; not because they were difficult or unrealistic, but because I did not know the answer.  I mean, I’m technically American since I was born in the United States.  But I really wanted to know my genetic composition.  You know, I instantly wanted to know who I was, and was slightly upset that I had no clue about the history of my ancestors. 


I didn’t even realize the depth of my concern until I was having a conversation with my blog coach Elayna, while at Hispanicize and she began explaining how most Latinas get very offended if you get their nationality wrong. If they are from Brazil and you confuse them for Dominican, they feel slighted.  (Not because the other nationality is less than, but because they are proud of who they are and where they are from.)

I sat there in absolute awe, thinking “how powerful!”  Just listening to the pride, honor and love that they carried for their country and family, was incredible – and something to be admired.  I was saying to myself “I would love to know my nationality, who I am.” During dinner, I shared my frustration with the five Latinas at the table, who were all from different countries. I told them that I was forced to select African American for both questions because I didn’t know where my roots originated.

 And while I’m proud to be an African American woman, I would like to know more about my make-up, who I am.

We need to haunt the house of history and listen anew to the ancestors wisdom.

A few weeks later, I found myself in an interesting place. I was borderline depressed and felt as if I was fading from the person I once knew as me. It took weeks to break free. I could not put my finger on the problem, but I knew I had one.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever felt as if something was not right, but not really sure how to define it?  That was me.  I tried to explain it to a few people close to me, but I couldn’t properly do so.  Then it hit me.  While I am on a journey now to find out more about who I am from DNA standpoint, I also need to find out more about who I am in this season of my life. 

I’m trying so hard to pursue my purpose, and somehow, I keep getting pulled back into the hustle of “just” making money. You know, I’m working for a paycheck because my purpose isn’t sustainable yet.  The weight of my work literally caused me not to be able to write my blog post last week.  I was stuck.

That place of uncertainty had caused me great grief.  I’ve over analyzed and under planned, which left me exhausted.  The feeling of depression was real. I was not imagining those feelings. I told myself, it’s okay not to be okay. But it’s not okay to stay that way.

Peace of mind always comes with knowing who you truly are, where you currently stand, where you posit

There were three things I realized, and deemed noteworthy during my experience about the importance of knowing who you are.  When you don’t know who you are:

·         You will begin filling that void with things and people that are not in alignment with your dreams and goals.

·         You will lack confidence in your purpose, talents and abilities to fulfill your destiny.

·         You will start settling for anything in hopes to have something.

Moms, I was really struggling.  Sharing this story with you is a critical part of my healing. As I type, I feel freer. Knowing that I don’t have to pretend to be perfect while discovering who I am at my core, and living my maximum capacity is invigorating.

The last few weeks, I discovered I must always take inventory and assess how my environment is affecting who I am becoming. Am I staying true to my roots, my core? Or am I feeling stuck because I am taking on the identity of my lack?

Do you know who you are? How are you handling the adjustment of BECOMING?  I’ve decided to order a DNA test and find out more about my heritage.  I’ve also decided to speak life to myself and live in my truth.  I love being me!




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  1. My question has always been, should I just check other? Why do I have to choose, my Dad was born and raised in Yazoo City, Mississippi and my Mother born on the Island of Dominica, British West Indies her first language is French (no I don’t speak French). I identify more with my mother’s side of the family, however because of the distance of my Mom’s family, I have spent more time with my Dad’s family, but you know the saying if you have a little black in you, you black.

    I always wanted to be other because I am equal parts of both and mixed or American is not an option, but at the end of the day, my nationality checked on an application will never define who I truly am and what I can bring to the table, it would be to your benefit to get to know me.

    Thanks for this post!

    1. Yes, same here. It’s easier to accept as well. I remember being younger…wanting to be perfect, or at least wanting to hide my flaws. It’s a little easier to accept my imperfections and move on.

  2. I’m glad that you’re learning how to cope with this type of challenge in your life. Hang-in there! Keep sharing your journey with us.

  3. I am on a journey of personal development so it was great to read this. I am always trying to better myself and but myself in uncomfortable situations.

  4. Definitely food for thought here! This is a topic I ponder from time to time. For myself, I feel I find more value in studying all cultures, and world history in general, rather than focusing on the history of cultures that compose my genetic make-up. But perhaps this has something to do with the fact that I don’t strongly identify with the culture of any specific side of my ancestry.

  5. I understand that some are still having difficulty to understand who they are. But what matters most is whats in your heart. If you believe that you are that person, follow it and give a chance to test the truth.

  6. I can’t explain who i really am, but all I know is that I am trying to be a good person as much as possible and I try not to hurt anyone but be of help to anyone.

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