Comic 1302 - Who Am I?

26th Oct 2020, 8:51 AM in Ch. 40 - It's Okay to Cry
Who Am I?
Average Rating: 5 (8 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 26th Oct 2020, 8:51 AM edit delete
To be clear:

It's okay if you don't know yourself. It's never too late to get know who you are, and learn new things about yourself.

You're definitely not stupid.

There are people who love you and want you around. Including this very community of readers right here, even if you think no one notices.

You know, just in case you needed any reminders. I know I need to tell myself sometimes. :)

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DocMesa 26th Oct 2020, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
This is why "just be yourself" is an extremely unhelpful bit of advice. An individual is not just one thing. We're like a diamond - dozens of facets, each with different colours depending on how light shines through. When the light shifts, so do the colours. Trying to boil that down to one specific thing is an exercise in failure. A person is more than just a gender, a history, a skin tone or an age.

People *like* things to be simple, to fit into neat, simple boxes that are easy to make sense of. When you begin to see people as ever changing and evolving, you'll be able to understand them a lot more easily.
Some Ed 26th Oct 2020, 1:55 PM edit delete reply
We also don't always instinctively know ourselves. We may not ever instinctively know ourselves.

A lot of the time I spent growing up was focused on not hurting. Sometimes I was trying to avoid punishment from school, from my brothers, from my parents. Other times, I was just looking to find some escape.

For me, college was a relatively wonderful experience, because I was away from my family, away from my previous "teachers" and most of the people who gave me trouble.

Fairly early on, I met the woman of my dreams. I think she assumed that I had an idea of what sorts of things I liked to do, and either not having any such idea to offer or my inability to articulate that I was even fuzzy on the concept of such an idea was fairly severely detrimental to even maintaining the initial rapport I had with her.

Probably my poor communication skills were the number one thing that doomed any hope I might have had with really being her friend or whatever. But having this vastly different experience from her, such that I had a communication challenge to that degree, certainly didn't help.
Gabi 27th Oct 2020, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
It's always been helpful to me. Of course, if someone has no idea what they want, "be yourself" doesn't answer it. But there are often times in life when you feel pressured to do something that your heart tells you not to do, or may be considering pretending to be more like what you think others want you to be, or want to do or say something, which you know won't hurt anyone and will make you feel better, but you don't know whether others will approve of it.

At least, for someone as shy as myself, those things have happened a lot in my life. And "be yourself" is a rule by which I have lived since I was a child, and even though I have sometimes had bad experiences because of it, it would have been far worse for me if I hadn't done it. "Be yourself" means "be true to yourself, do what your heart says is right". If you try to listen to your heart and it still doesn't tell you anything, then you'll need more time to figure it out. But I wouldn't rule it out as "extremely unhelpful advice". I'd rather just say it doesn't always solve everything.
DocMesa 27th Oct 2020, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
That's a fair point. =)
Allison (not that one) 26th Oct 2020, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
> It's never too late to get know who you are

Yeah, I didn't even start until I was 50 (and didn't want to be alive any more), and at age 67, I'm still working on it.

Similar story to Emily: everyone around me (parents, teachers, etc.) was saying I would be acceptable only if I could X Y Z -- only, what "X Y Z" was was always something beyond whatever I was doing, and whenever it looked like I might have a chance of making it, they'd change X Y Z, but gaslight me that they hadn't.

To quote Rain, "people suck."
LoneWolf 26th Oct 2020, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, people suck.

I remember the sh**show that was my childhood, i'll likely never be able to repair all of the psychological damage that i took there. My teacher saying "You won't get anywhere in your life, you don't even need to try it" is actually one of the tamer memories. Video games where practically the only thing keeping me sane during that period.

I'm also trying to find myself, all while struggling to maintaining this farce of a life, where i feel like i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Biggest problem is that i don't even know where to start.

What do i even like? Aside from video games? I thought i knew for the longest time and wasted quite a bit of lifetime and money on that, and i'm absolutely not happy with the results (=job) of it. Yet i can't seem to "let go", still stuck on the idea that i have to do something "useful" with my life, blocking out things that probably could be the ones that would make me truly happy.

Same idiocy with my view of myself. I'm not "normal" by any means, and i never will be, never want to be, even - Yet i'm totally stuck on trying to be this "normal", while hating myself profoundly along the way, blocking myself from the steps that probably would make me happy as well (which includes the lingering question if i'm transgender).

I wish i knew where these issues come from. Wish it was that easy that i could blame people for it and just move on, but i don't explictely remember anything going into a direction that would explain my problems...

*sigh* Sorry for the lengthy post. I guess the topic triggers me pretty badly...
RubyRuthNeal 26th Oct 2020, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
I had my "epiphany" at age 8, October 31st 1970 to be exact (50th anniversary of that date coming up this Saturday, 10/31/1970 was also a Saturday as well)... but suppressed, repressed, denied it, and all that jazz for decades. At age 50 my life had essentially become worthless to me, and at age 54 began my journey to transition..... much helped to take the big plunge by discovering this webcomic. And here I was thinking I was the only "TransLater" here.... Glad to know I'm not the only one! Now at age 58, and 4 years into this journey, I'm finally learning and fully realizing exactly who I am. And that's a wondrous thing indeed!
j-eagle12212012 26th Oct 2020, 9:47 PM edit delete reply
It's ok to be a late bloomer
The flower is still beautiful regardless
Larryn 26th Oct 2020, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
This chapter’s going to be harder on me than the non-consensual hair cut chapter, and I didn’t think that was possible.

I wish I could reach into the screen and give Emily all the hugs.
Willow13 26th Oct 2020, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
I agree with you completely
Share 26th Oct 2020, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
I needed this. I’m dysphoria filled, I feel supper sick. My dad is cooking loudly. My 2nd period had us watch a movie that had super fast cuts, shaky cam, and the frames were dropping all over the place. And just now, we had to talk about a quote about mirrors. Thank you for making my day not so bad, I’m so glad to have something good today, if only it was longer, but I can’t expect that
SteveHeist 26th Oct 2020, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
That took a turn into relatable quick.

I struggle a lot with self-doubt.
Share 26th Oct 2020, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
I’m back, I’m still super dysphoric and sick. I’ve locked my self in my room. I wish I had someone like Fara in my life. Someone who didn’t dead name me every 5 minutes, and was an adult. I just wish my parents would even try, because it seems like they don’t. This is super off topic, but I’m glad I found this series. This has really helped me, and I just love it.

On a side note, can’t wait for ryan and rain to meet. I hope that comes soon, but I know it’ll be after this chapter.

I really needed this, I’m a mess, and I can’t stand life right now. I’ve got nothing better to do, so I’m gonna read this from the start. I just need a reminder that I’m not weird, that I’m normal, and this is that. Thank you so much for making this
Willow13 26th Oct 2020, 6:04 PM edit delete reply
Hey A friendly Person here. You are you and you are valid and you are worth more than you could ever know. I am giving you a Virtual Hug because you deserve it.
Share 26th Oct 2020, 7:14 PM edit delete reply
Thanks, j have a 100*F fever. I feel horrible still
AnadiaRose 26th Oct 2020, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
One thing I'd say to Emily if I could. You're like 17-18 You're not supposed to know who you are yet. Maybe parts of who you are but at that age few people really know who they are.

Hell for as self-aware rain is i doubt she really knows who she is. Maybe closer to figuring it out than Emily but not quite their yet.
bgb16999 26th Oct 2020, 2:15 PM edit delete reply
Last page: Remember I was gonna be valedictorian?
This page: I'm stupid.

C'mon Emily.
Fourth Nate 27th Oct 2020, 8:25 AM edit delete reply
No, I get it.
I'm a perfect student -> What's the point of being a perfect student...
I've gotten stuck in that thought pattern before, myself
Adama 26th Oct 2020, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
One answer is to try a bunch of new things and figure out which ones you like or dislike. And figure out _why_ you like or dislike them and possibly reevaluate.
arkathenia 26th Oct 2020, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
This chapter is getting back to the heavy theme. I better get myself ready for this. This could be a rough chapter, for Rain and Emily.
CrownedSun 26th Oct 2020, 7:17 PM edit delete reply
...well, this was a perfectly timed page to really hit me in the feels.
Chloe 27th Oct 2020, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
I am in my late forties, and I am still trying to work out who i am.
Seine 27th Oct 2020, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
I just caught up and I love love LOVE this comic. It was rare to see representation back when you started the comic and I'm so glad it's gone on this long! Can't wait to see how it progresses! :U
drs 27th Oct 2020, 2:04 PM edit delete reply
Not sure how useful "Be yourself" is. Is Emily's mother being herself?
Jaina 27th Oct 2020, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
This resonates with me a lot. After all my years of depression through high school and post-secondary, my goal was never about my future, it was just to survive. Now that I've finally improved, I realize that even though I'm in my late 20's, I still don't have the faintest inkling of what I want to do with myself or who I am.
Aurosa 28th Oct 2020, 8:12 AM edit delete reply
I don't deal with this personally, I'm the opposite in that I'm ridiculously self aware, but I see this in my boyfriend who is both borderline and bipolar. I enjoy helping him find things he likes and helping him learn more about himself but it's still such a sad thing to see people go through.
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