My Identity

I’ve come to realize that my happiness is linked to how closely I’m living my identity. I live my identity by spending time  with things that I identify with. I don’t identify with sitting in front of a computer. I don’t identify with drinking anymore. I don’t identify with seeking fame. The one thing I’ve consistently identified with is trying to make the world a better place. When I spend my time doing things that I feel are contributing to a better world, I feel happy. When I do things that I feel like I’m supposed to do, I feel miserable.

So what is my identity? I like to feel free. I like to go on adventures. I like to help people. When I find security, I often feel stuck. When I’m on a career path, I often feel trapped. When I think about owning a house and having kids, I feel a weight on my shoulders. But sometimes I wonder if by keeping life simple and free if I’m avoiding the responsibilities of being an adult. Are there things I simply need to do to prepare for old age, or should I just enjoy my life and the world while I’m healthy and accept that old age will be difficult regardless of the resources I have available to me?

I feel like I’m supposed to have a plan, that a responsible person would have a plan, but I feel happy when I’m living each moment for what it is. Where is the balance? What is the right strategy to take care of myself and to feel free? Currently, I’m not sure. Time to meditate.

This entry was posted in Personal Experiences by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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