There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.
~Benjamin Franklin

I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction and essays lately—historical, philosophy, theology, and a smattering of random bloggish type thoughts. One of the personal blog category included an entry called “I Am.” It was rather interesting.

And came in handy when a lost-looking teen showed up on my porch the other day.

After much discussion regarding both her normal state of confusion at being a teen, and how you can only learn to love others once you love yourself, I sent her on a little homework assignment. I told her to go write five pages about herself. Each sentence should start with “I”—I am, I like, I hate, I want—and to dig inside to find herself. I had hoped she would begin to figure out what who she really was beyond just her name and place in the family tree. She came back with a clearer look on her face, a lighter heart, and a deeper understanding of who she was inside. It worked. It was a good exercise. I might just make ALL the teens around here do it.

And you.

That’s right. Welcome to this week’s Garage Talk (I know, it’s Friday not Thursday. Forgive me). You don’t have to post your “I Am” here. To some this will be a very personal exercise. But I do think everyone should do it. And if you do, then let me know—post here. You can simply state that you did it, or you can tell me how it went, post a snippet, or let us know what you learned doing it. My assignment to you all, but your call whether or not you take the challenge and how much of it you share with the class.

Mine. Oh it’s been done. Eye opening to say the least. And something that, oddly enough, sparked a few ideas for the fiction. Gotta love when the muse works in weird ways.

Now go on. Get your coffee. Do the day job. And think about what defines you, what your “I Am” would say. Then write it down.

*photo yanked from Dancers are Made of their Passion

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