"All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself."
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
I recently found my old copy of Invisible Man. It was my favorite book in high school. I wrote my college essay on it. This paragraph was underlined in my book. It’s funny, because I think this was my favorite quote before I really even had the courage to follow the advice it imparts. It was probably 4 years after I underlined this that I really started asking myself the questions that I only I could answer.