What does it mean to be yourself – your authentic self – to become who you are? I suspect only poets attempt an answer. May Sarton attempts such an answer with a poem about “the journey toward becoming fierce with reality” as Parker J. Palmer puts it.
Sarton is aware that becoming oneself takes time, “many years and places”. Becoming oneself often requires being “dissolved and shaken” in order live into becoming one’s self:
Now I Become Myself
by May Sarton
Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
“Hurry, you will be dead before—”
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?
For more see, “Remind me who I am“.