Who am I? I think this is a question we all ask ourselves at one point or another in our lives, and I find myself asking it now. There are plenty of facts I can list off about myself. I'm Catholic, like incredibly central to my life, Catholic.
I am especially so here in my college career; I am surrounded by the love and faith of so many wonderful friends, how could I not make it an integral part of my life? I find such great comfort in a faith so universal, so monolithic and true that it has spanned the world, saved souls, and aided the downtrodden for 2,000 years.
Not even to mention the simplest pleasure of all: kneeling in prayer, my hands clutched around my Rosary, as I pray not for my own power or strength, but for Christ to make of me and my life what He wills and to aid my friends.
I am an ENFJ which means I am attuned to the needs and emotions of those around me. I love and adore to be of service to others, it's who I am, and what I enjoy.
But...this means that I do not always put my own needs first.
In fact I consistently fail to do so, to put my own needs out there, according to a wide variety of friends and associates. I have always found it so much easier to give love, to focus on others, this way I may ignore the tragedies and flaws of my own character.
Trying to help other people is much easier than helping yourself sometimes. But when one refuses to fill themselves up...how are they able to keep giving? When I fail to let myself receive love, I choose emptiness over the cup which would overflow if only I let it.
Now, words of affirmation are my love language and the best most secure way into my heart, which is another reason I'm called to service I love a job well done and I love being told "well done." I love deep conversations far into the night and the morning, the kind that send your heart reeling from the truth expressed and the vulnerability given.
To confess to your friends in the deep night things you would never say in the light and to KNOW that they accept these things as a beautiful part of you: it is a great blessing.
And I have always striven to be a gentleman, now I'm not saying Ive always managed to do so because that would be a lie, but I have tried. I even have a list of rules I keep to remind myself of how to go about this in my daily life, I call them my Rules of Engagement.
The first rule of course is the most important: Don't lie, not even to yourself. And that's one reason why I am doing this: I refuse to lie to myself or the world. Vulnerability and openness is the the only true strength available.
This is not to say I do not have a great many flaws and various problems, mind you. I'm proud to a point, and while I've been working on it, I am still a difficult person to get along with when my pride is pricked by criticism or perceived injustices.
Humility has always been so hard for me, the constant struggle to not think less of yourself, but as Chesterton said, to think of yourself less.
To look at the achievements of another and to be just as happy and proud for them and their work as if I had done it: this is a great struggle for me. And it doesn't help that I am just simply bullheaded about getting my way most of the time.
Sitting next to pride in my life is its cousin vanity. I'm a very vain soul, one who enjoys my comforts, my luxuries, and well to put it bluntly since I'm telling much, I enjoy trying to look good. As you may be understanding pride really is a bit of a problem for yours truly here.
So who am I? I don't know, and that's perhaps the best answer I can give.
I am like everyone else. A flawed human being, in search of deeper love and meaningful truth. I mess up, as do we all.
I have my own personal tragedies of which the world knows not, but they help me smile brighter, laugh louder, and pray more fervently. I still make missteps, but I will grow.
Hopefully with more friends along the way who will join me in my smiling, my laughing, and my praying. With them, and more importantly with prayer, I am capable of anything and everything.