Waking Up Cattywampus
Memoir of a Transplanted Southerner
by Steven Powers Chylinski
Pub Date 19 Dec 2018
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Do you know what it feels like to have someone you love—perhaps a parent, sibling, or spouse—try to tell you who you are and what to believe? If so, you are not alone. At times, those closest to us want to shape our beliefs and turn us into someone they want us to be. It’s likely that they even mean well and have our best interests at heart. Yet, that all-important question—“Who Am I?”--is one we must answer for ourselves. But how?
First, we must examine our own life experiences. What has happened to us during our lifetime? Have we experienced loss or dealt with grief? Have we endured life-threatening trauma? Was our adolescence a lonely one, or did we have lots of friends? Did we start dating early, or not really date at all? What happened to us during young adulthood—did we marry the love of our life, or lose that person? Moving forward, did we embark on our chosen career or did we take a job only to please someone else? And in our later years, how did we react to the inevitable loss of loved ones that comes with growing older? How did we react to troubling changes in our own health and in the health of our significant others?
Your answers to these questions will help to determine who you think you are. But there are others factors to consider. For instance, the increasingly-popular phenomenon known as genealogy has inspired a surge in people tracing their ancestry as far back as possible. Suppose we discover skeletons in our family’s past? Might these discoveries change how we see ourselves? Taking things one step further, what about those who venture into DNA testing? Several companies offer tests that are generally known as Family Finder research, These enable a person to track his/her ethnic background, not just for the very recent past, but for thousands of years. Might the results of those tests trigger a change in how a person sees himself or herself?
It is with these factors in mind that the author embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Did he find answers to the haunting “Who Am I?” question? Did his answers shift over time? And by the way, dear reader, who are you? Do you really know yourself? Follow the author’s fascinating journey across time, and perhaps see if you can unveil any secrets about yourself.