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My Inner Circle

abraxton December 05, 2018
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There is one question a majority of people struggle to answer. This one idea baffles so many, regardless of education, background, and culture. Identity, who one is, can be the most difficult concept to uncover. I thought I knew the answer, but a trip away to college for a few years can change that.

Mid-December 2016, I remember sitting at the edge of my bed, very confused. I was in the middle of my third year at the University of Virginia, and had just been told I had Left renal vein entrapment syndrome (also known as Nutcracker Syndrome, seriously). But that wasn’t what was causing my self-reflection. The reason was much simpler, I had lost sight of who I was as a person. The faith that had been the core of my life seemed to be missing in my heart, in my life. The qualities I worked hard to instill in my characters seemed faint. And I didn’t know where I belonged. All I could do was pray for help figuring out what to do.

Those answers came quickly, luckily, as when I returned for the next semester myself and my roommate joined our recently new friends Andrew Mathew, Krunal Patel, and Rahul Shah for church one Sunday. Throughout the semester we shared many laughs and smiles, and they taught me how to enjoy life and grow as a person simultaneously. Having influences such as these men was exactly what I needed, and the incredible detail was that I had met them before I even looked for them.

Unfortunately, in the fall I would slip back into the same issues that plagued me before. It was same identity crisis of sacrificing who I wanted to be for who everyone else around me was, trying to fit in. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the people around me, but they weren’t who I was. I spent less and less time with those people who got me on my feet. My teetering on identity would continue until poor decision making and poor influences would cost me multiple friendships that I cherished deeply and I miss to this very day.

Fortunately, my answers in life were already there. My roommate from earlier, Robel Semunegus, and the trio of Andrew, Krunal, and Rahul would remind me who I was. They got me back on my feet. And when I returned home from UVa this time, I joined my sister in her new community at Metro Church, which I remain in to this day. And I have spent the past few months in a period of strong growth in happiness, that this time I won’t let go of just to fit in to societal norms.

The people around you will play an important role in who you are, who you develop into. They can remind you of who you are and who you want to be. There is nothing wrong with having friends who are not in your inner circle, and that is no attack on their character. Knowing which people can lead you to where you want to go in life and how you want to get there can ultimately be the difference in reaching your goals in life instead of wondering about how you missed the mark. Find that community that helps create the best version of yourself.

Oh, and that Renal artery issue cleared up just fine. Forgot about that!

-Aarron Braxton

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