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A spiritual journey
Following my own path
YOU KNOW ALL THOSE KIDS in the mall with their tattoos, low-slung jeans, and tricolored hair? Do you notice how similar they all look to one another? Yet, ironically, I so well remember being a teenager, and the most important thing in the world was to be different—to mark out my own identity, separate from my family.
But the ironic part is that in all that effort to be original, my friends and I were more conformist than we ever realized. I remember wearing my hair just like my schoolmates (hanging in my eyes with no discernible style), wearing my sweater draped sloppily over my shoulders, just the way my girlfriends did, and talking, walking, and thinking pretty much like every other kid in my school. I guess we didn't see that in trying to discover our unique identities, we were photocopies of everyone else.
And it didn't get a whole lot easier as I grew into adulthood. The same questions haunted me—Who am I? What am I doing on this earth? What's my purpose? I spent a lot of years—conforming and not conforming—just trying to figure out the answers to those questions. Sometimes I felt as if I were constantly arriving at a crossroads, with paths stretching out in a myriad of directions, each one promising that if I pursued that path—that one alone—I'd finally be at peace. Those paths included politics, a variety of religions, feminism, yoga, relationships, academia, fiction writing, business. Along the way came marriage and parenting. And so much of life was good. Great, in fact. But still, those questions wouldn't go away.
Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.
About the author
To think for yourself
with contributions from Andrew Wilson, Elizabeth Marouk-Coe, John Platt, Dilys E. Bell, Robert Goodspeed
AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY LAUNCHES PROGRAMS TO REACH AMERICA'S YOUTH
Francine Lange, Roy Lloyd
THINK for yourself
By J. Thomas Black
INDEPENDENT THINKING in the military
By Ryder Stevens
Following my own path
By Marilyn Jones
Calculating a new way to think
By Susan Cobb
By Joan Taylor
An unexpected detour — A psychologist talks about finding God
By Sentinel staff
More than a footrace in Johannesburg
By Michael Noyce
PRAYER AND THE CALIFORNIA FIRES
By Channing Walker
It's about savvy and self-control
By Holly Gutelius Wheeler
Adoption pending: Who's in charge?
By Cheryl Ranson
Higher expectations for Iraq
By Russ Gerber
A change of thought leads to healing of dizziness
David G. Shields
Spiritual understanding heals injuries
Safe on speeding ferry
Devon Thompson Neal
Glass flowers—and thinking for yourself