Self: A Series of Self Portraits

By Alanna Hadley

I don’t know who I am.

That sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I know my full name. I know when and where I was born. Although one of them isn’t in my life, I am fortunate enough to know who both of my parents are. I know where I go to school. Sadly, I know what I look like. I know what I want to be this Halloween. Even if I’m in denial, I know what I weigh.

But I don’t know who I am. In a world where I can be anything I want to be, I can be this, that, all of it, or none of it, I don’t know myself. It’s like I’m one version of myself wearing a Halloween costume of another version of myself. How can you mask yourself behind yourself?

That is why I love Halloween. It’s the one day where I’m not troubled with the agonizing task of finding myself. I can pretend to be someone else. But after I take off my sexy nurse costume or my clown makeup, I’m still confused. My vision of myself is still distorted.

Why do I feel this way? How do I stop these feelings of isolation? I wish I knew how. I yearn for the owner’s manual to my own life.  But over the timeline of a few weeks, I’ve figured out a few things. First, there is no owner’s manual on how to find yourself and you most definitely won’t find a tutorial for it on You-Tube.  That Halloween costume of myself? It’s still in the back of my closet somewhere and I have to put it on every now and then to keep myself from breaking down.

It is okay to not know. It is okay to not understand.

You may lose people while finding yourself and that is completely okay. You are never going to find yourself looking for someone else. You may find out things about yourself that you didn’t want to know or you don’t like, but you can’t be afraid to find out who you are.

It’s crazy how I’ve to know myself for so long yet every day, I had become this person who is further and further away from the person I truly am. I am indescribable. I cannot be duplicated or copied. I am intricate and confusing.  I talk too much and I have appalling handwriting. I am egotistical and slightly narcissistic. I look into the mirror and see a beautiful girl who loves how she looks and isn’t in denial about her weight. I have no idea who this new girl in my body is, but I look forward to getting to know her

My name is Alanna, and I don’t know who I am.

But I like her