I don’t think you truly ever “find yourself”, you're not a static state of being that is hidden within a specific experience or set aside in a secret location across the globe to be discovered. Is your identity the way in which you view yourself as being perceived by others or is it who you feel you are when you are alone in thought? I believe your identity is a collection of many characteristics.
I believe we are built through the culmination of life experiences, thoughts, opinions, lessons, mistakes, conversations, scars, words and beliefs. I have started to think of the concept looking like a basic common Change Jar. Each life experience has a different value and they are all collected within the vessel culminating over time. Mine is full of all sorts of coins; Pennies representing conversations, Nickels representing thoughts and opinions, Dimes representing mistakes and scars, Quarters representing life experiences. There are a few invaluable coins representing my faith, patience and endurance; not only valuable gifts but hard characteristics to earn. There are even a few Paseos, a Canadian dollar, half dozen dress shirt buttons and a Matchbox Fire Truck. A photo taken of the Change Jar at any given time will be a representation of who I am at that specific moment in life.
I have been searching for years trying to figure out who I am; I have been focused on this concept of defining my identity for some time. Trying to figure out how I develop and represent myself as a Leader of hope, grace, change and faith in my community. I was focused for so long on filling this Jar with as much as possible, the more the better, saving up everything I could. I have filled the Jar with some amazingly beautiful things. My favorite part about this analogy of the Change Jar is; the wide opening at the top of the Jar. This opening, not only allows for everything to be put inside, it also allows for things to come out. I can remove opinions I once held and I can let go of things I am not and no longer.
Realizing who we are is a matter of letting go of who we aren't. Surrendering who we think we are to become who we truly are. The concept of letting go of the things we are trying to be, or… are no longer is truly freeing. Allow your Identity to be defined in only the characteristics that shine brightly.