Who am I meant to be?

by Jess

O Magazine claims to be able to tell me — using the results from a short, easy quiz! — who I am meant to be.  “Forget your career. Forget your role as a mother or a wife. Forget how much money you make or how successful you are. If you’re struggling with the question ‘Who am I meant to be?’, this quiz can help you figure out what really defines you,” says Oprah.

I took the quiz.  Complete bunk.  I’m no closer to knowing who I’m meant to be than I was before — which is to say, it’s not really something I struggle with.  I’m a wife and a mother and an aspiring writer with a couple of publications under my belt.  I’m a good cook.  I’m a bad loser.  I’m dreadful to be around when I’m tired.  I’m bad at setting goals but good at making lists.  I’m a romantic.  I’m adventurous and optimistic.  I’m not athletic though I’ve always played sports, and I’m easily discouraged.  I’m sensitive.  I’m hospitable.  I’m a charming conversationalist and an indifferent housekeeper.  I’m passionate about only a few things: my family, good writing, and, I’ve recently discovered, breastfeeding, which not enough American women are doing long term.  But that’s a conversation for another blog post.

I think this sort of phony self-actualization preys on people’s most secret failures and disappointment.  Maybe a few people who take the quiz will change their lives, but I think the majority will be imbued with a false sense of hope that slowly slumps back into daily life.  More important than finding out who you’re meant to be is learning to be happy with who you are; if you can’t do that, then perhaps it’s time to make some changes.

I forgive Oprah, though, only because she indulges my crush on Junot Diaz.  She seems to love him as much as I do.