I Found Myself


by Suzanne Reisler Litwin

No… I wasn’t lost.  I just wish I knew more about myself when I was younger.  If I did, I would have done things differently.  Although I’ve always been on my own path, I just wish I had thought more independently and been stronger.

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I wasn’t a lost person, always looking for themselves.  I knew who I was early on.  I felt connected to my world and work quite quickly.  However, now I would love to talk to my 20-year-old self and say, “Hey, it’s ok to say NO – often.  It’s ok not to agree.  It’s ok that people won’t like you for being you. It’s ok to be independent.  It’s ok to live along your own path even if it’s unpopular.  It’s ok to simply be you!”

As a younger person, I wanted people to like me.  I felt bad if someone didn’t like me.  I used to care about what other people thought about me.  Now, I don’t care about these things that were once important to me.  Maturity and age have taught me this.  I wish I knew that then.
I wonder in 20 years, will I want to talk to my younger (now) self?

Recently, my friend told me she found herself.    At 55, she had an acute awareness.  She found her body and mind to be new to her.  This was caused by studying and practicing yoga.  All of a sudden she felt mobility and mindfulness she had never experienced before.  Enlightenment was another word she used to describe her new self.  I asked if she was re-invented?  She said, “Yes, but I wish I had this experience years ago! I would’ve been a kinder more gentle person.”

Maybe it takes years and years of searching to find one’s self?

Maybe, it only comes to us once we have ripened?  I wonder?

I don’t believe in the quote, “You can’t teach an old dog, new tricks.”  I believe we are always able to learn and expand ourselves at any point in our lives.  We just need to be open to change and diversity.

As a pure bread Capricorn, I am stubborn and don’t like change.  My friends always encourage me to try new things.  Most of the time, I don’t.  Why?  Simply because I am a stubborn old goat!  When I want to try something new, it’s on my terms and when I’m ready.  When the time is right, I do venture out and find new things to try and do.
If I could only go back to “Youthful Sue” and tell her what I now know, she would be stronger.  Youthful Sue would be able to say NO with conviction.  She would be a better, stronger me.

Now my lessons are directed towards my children.  The lessons of life that have seasoned me are now being taught to their youthful selves.  Will these lessons penetrate their minds and have meaning or will they need to wait to be older to realize the truth as I have?

Time will tell.

Finding yourself is really about finding the peace within yourself.  Perhaps it’s about discovering that aspect of your body that you never had control of?  Perhaps it’s just about living in the now?

At this point, I reach out to my readers and ask these questions?

Have you found yourself?

Were you lost at some point?
How would you describe your own personal discovery?
What gave you clarity?
Please share your insights with us.

Rebound, abound and turn around, I’m found!

Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education.  She is a writing instructor at The Cummings Centre. She writes a weekly column in The Suburban Newspaper and at the West Island Blog. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban Newspaper, West Island Blog, Wise Women Canada, The Metropolitain, and Women on the Fence. She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. Visit suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.