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July 16, 2013 / austreberto

Who am I and why?

This is not a poetry but a collection of thoughts.  I have actually been doing quite a bit of writing lately, just have not finalized any poems.  I have a method that works for me, but none of them have come together quite to my liking.  Slowly but surely I will get there.

In the meantime, here’s this:

Who am I and why?

It’s something that I’ve been wondering about for awhile now.  I don’t feel terribly lost or disheveled or anything like that, but I have been wondering about who I am as a person.  Do I like who I’ve become?  (Yes)  How did I get like this?  (Beats the hell outta me)

A lot of the courses that I have been taking the last year have challenged me to think about the different experiences and components that can influence a person.  I’ve been thinking about the things that I have gone through and how it’s shaped me.  Who am I?

There are so many things to consider.  It’s a topic that you could easily lose sleep over if you went deep enough.  Like wondering how many stars there are and how far they away they are, the meaning of life, and how many angels can fit on the top of a pin (quite a lot, actually (if you believe in that kind of thing)).

Let’s look at the basics.  I am: male, late twenties, half Mexican, blah, blah, blah.

Let’s get a bit more detailed: ex-vegetarian, amateur cook/weightlifter, survivor of depression, constantly dealing with anxiety issues, semi-pro writer/poet (in my humble opinion (though I don’t believe you can call yourself humble, that defeats the purpose of the word)), and I can grow a fantastic beard (and many other things, I suppose).

I am who I am and no one else.

And that’s the crazy thing: no one else would have handled everything the same and turned out exactly as I am.


The times that I feel like I don’t know who I am make me feel like I am on autopilot.  I forget about everything that I’ve been through (not that I would be able to consciously think about it all the time) and I just live.  I just… am.

I don’t like being on autopilot.  I feel like when I’m not being conscious of what’s going on that I’m going to miss out on enjoying life.  It’s boring as all get out.

Looking back over the last few years, it’s actually very common.  Sometimes it’s a little scary because it will happen while I’m driving and then I don’t remember passing the last few stoplights.  That’s when I wonder if I ran any red lights or not.  There are plenty of times when I am completely aware of my consciousness and of my actions, but I am able to think aside.

This happened often during my job at a calling center for a university.  I dialed number after number, mostly heard ringing, busy signals, disconnects, and answering machines.  To those who picked up (,I’m sorry), I would do my best to build a rapport and get them to donate to our school.  During those conversations is when I first noticed this sense of being on autopilot.

A typical conversation on my part would sound like: “When’s the last time you visited campus?  *wait for reply*  Ah, well a lot has changed!  We’ve had a new education building open up last year and they are doing a lot of renovations!  GIVE US YOUR MONEY!” (Totally kidding on that last bit but that’s how a lot of people perceived us as being)  During that active conversation of cat and mouse, I would have my own conversation in my head.  Most of the time I would just ask myself “Why am I doing this?”  The short answer was that I was trying to make money so I could live (as well as a college student could live on $8/hr and the occasional bonus).

A lot of the time I’ve gone through the various steps and routines of the day just to get onto the next day to only do the same.  Rinse and repeat. And I feel like I put up with a lot of bullshit along the way. Why am I doing this?  To get to the other side?  I’m not a chicken, goddammit!

It’s a question that I believe everyone asks themselves from time to time.  Definitely more than once.  If you have never asked yourself this, you probably will now.  Why?

Why, why, why?

It’s a question that I don’t really have any answer to.  Sometimes I wish it was easy to answer like “Why do you like to write?”  “Because it’s fucking awesome, that’s why!”  I’m paraphrasing my thoughts, obviously.

Maybe someday I’ll find one, if I ever do.

I have a feeling that I will.




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