“Who am I?”
I don’t think I’ve ever known. What I do know is that I’ve asked myself that question a million times. And each time that I couldn’t find an answer to it, an unchartered feeling took over. A feeling that I can’t define, a feeling that evolved every time.
It was like that moment in Math class, where I followed everything in a chapter until my teacher asked the one question that would blank me out. I would feel like the answer was at the back of my head and search for it desperately. But the more I searched, the less I knew. I would look around me, and the rest would’ve figured it out and moved on.
It was like that moment when I was 19, surrounded by the people I loved most in the world. We joked and laughed, listened and talked, agreed and disagreed, and learnt to agree to disagree. Sometimes we did absolutely nothing. But they seemed happy. I was happy. It was like I was painting a jolly portrait, the big picture, and all of them fit in. The only thing left was to paint that version of me, and suddenly the brush wouldn’t move.
It was like that moment when I was travelling to work on my second-hand scooter, coming to a halt at a red-lit signal. I was late, I knew that. I knew it when I chose to run that extra kilometre at the gym. Yet, I would wiggle my way into any vacant space, hoping to make up for lost time. The more I would wiggle, the closer I would get to my unsuspecting reflection on a car’s side mirror. And the more I moved forward, the less clear my reflection would be.
It was like all these tiny moments of my life coming together and choosing not to complete each other. It was like versions of me competing to survive, to decide who I would adorn, to decide who I would forget.
Who am I?
Am I a roll number?
Am I a job title?
Am I a relationship?
Am I a picture in your slambook?
Am I an unfinished book on the shelf?
Am I a seed that never became a tree?
Am I a red light that stopped an accident?
Am I a problem?
Am I a solution?
Am I a name?
Am I a nickname?
Am I who I need to be?
Am I who I want to be?
Am I just one person?
Am I just an unanswered question?
Who I am?
Perhaps, I never want to find out.
Perhaps, at every juncture in life, my questions took me further than any answer ever did.