“Who was I ?” It was asked in a car, I don’t remember if it was my car or hers but that is really besides the point. I had recently landed my dream job and found that it did not make me happy which made me question everything I knew about myself. I felt overwhelmingly lost having worked so hard to get where I was and finding out that it was not the right place for me. It made me question who I was and my purpose in life. That night, years ago, in a cold car I confided all of this to my friend. To this day I still remember her advice because it completely changed how I viewed myself and my life.
Being young there was a lot of directions I could take my life but at that point I felt that I did not even know the person inside my body. What did she really like? What would truly make her happy? Why does she do the things she does? Sensing that I needed to talk, my wise roommate and one of my best friends, sat in the car with me after we had gotten back from someplace that I don’t remember now. She patiently waited while I vented my frustrations then asked when the last time I read my patriarchal blessing was.
So, being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I received a patriarchal blessing which is a very personal blessing that declared my linage in the house of Israel. It also gave me special counsel from God for my life. I enjoy reading my blessing, particularly at times like this one when I was struggling. So, I responded to her that yes I had read it recently and I did not get a clear direction on what to do with my life from it.
My friends inspired words were that this life is not about discovering ourselves it is about remembering who we are. She reminded me that I have always existed and was someone before I was born. I had a personality, a sense of humor, and I knew who I was because I had chosen to come to earth. I knew my Heavenly Father so personally and he knew me because I was with him all the time. I was his beloved daughter. Her advice to me was to reread my patriarchal blessing not looking to the future but instead looking back for clues of who I have always been. Once I found that person inside myself I would be able to move forward with my life in the right direction for me.
That day in the car was like any ordinary day but my friends advice revolutionized the way I view my life because I realized that I am someone who has always existed. I was a strong empowering woman before I was even born who has always worked hard to do her best. Finding her again has been life changing and gave my life a sense of purpose it had never had before. My question is not longer, “Who am I?” but now “Who was I and how can I become more like her?”
(photo by Valerie Walker Photography)