My Black Out and Life’s Big Question

Have you ever had one of those moments where you wonder:

Who am I?
Where am I?
How did I get here?

I had one the other night.

It was accompanied by a sore head and a pain in the neck which lasted 48 hours. Ouch.

Here’s what happened

I was in a deep, dreamless sleep when my daughter woke me up. It happens from time to time. Usually, I just get up, guide her back to her own bed and either fall asleep there or head back to my bed when she’s asleep.

This time was different.

This time, the next thing I knew, I came to spread-eagled on my bedroom floor with my daughter screaming nearby. My head hurt and I was confused.

Silently I ran through the 3 big questions:

Who am I?
How did I get here?
Where was I going?

As I tried to fill in the gaps and piece together what happened it would have been the ideal time to reinvent myself.

Instead I worked out that I’d stood up too fast and fainted. I remembered who I was and slipped happily back into my old life.

It’s taken me a while to get here, I may not have figured out who I am 100%, but I’ve made a good start. I certainly don’t want to start over again from scratch.

A week later the three big questions were still playing on my mind but then I realised that actually, only the first one matters.

Who am I?

It’s the only question you need to know the answer to. Knowing who you are is the only thing that really matters in life.

Knowing who you are will help you work out what exactly you want to get out of life. What your dreams are and how you’re going to realize them.

How did I get here deals with the past. The progression won’t have been linear. It never is. Life’s full of ups and downs, highs and lows that shape our character and form our experience. But how you got here is history. It’s fun to reminisce, look back and see how far you’ve come but not that relevant to where you are now.

Where am I going deals with the future. Who knows what the future holds? It’s the present that’s important. I’m a huge planner but that’s all we should really do with the future ~ plan for it, but not live in it.

Who are you?

That’s the one question you may want to ponder and answer. That’s the question you should seek to address. Work on that because nothing else is important. If you can find the truth inside yourself and accept it then happiness will follow.

Have you ever had a moment like this? The chance to reassess your life or reinvent yourself?

We’ll be finding out more about identity later this week in a special guest post.

Thanks for reading

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  1. Walter November 30, 2009 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I have had these questions early in my life. It mysteriously dawned on the the question of my existence in this world. I felt that I am not who I am. My true self is enclosed in this organic form and I am controlled by my instincts or my mind.

    Now that I’m aware of this, I do my best to experience my true inner self. It is confusing, it is not easy, but it is worth the effort. After all, we only have our self to carry when we depart from this world. :-)

    • Annabel Candy November 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm - Reply

      Walter – Glad your true self is coming out of hiding. I agree, often our mind plays tricks on us and shrouds the real us in negative thoughts and emotions.

  2. J.D. Meier November 30, 2009 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    I reinvent myself all the time … but it’s always about becoming more of who I am … a lesson I learned from Marcus Buckingham.

    I like the way you put the focus on who you are, front and center. Ironically, I think that answering ‘why do you do what you do” cuts to the chase and really gets to the core of who you are.

  3. Annabel Candy November 30, 2009 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    JD – I like the idea of reinventing yourself as more of who you really are. Slowly paring away all the crap and all the pigeonholes people have tried to put you in until the real you emerges like a butterfly:)

  4. Bradley December 1, 2009 at 12:10 am - Reply

    those are 3 questions i have been asking myself a lot lately.

    who am i?
    how did i get here? and
    where am i going?

    the second question, is a no-brainer but too often i revisit the past.

    who am i? and where am i going? are 2 biggies for me right now. trying to change professions and wondering where it will take me.

  5. Connie December 1, 2009 at 12:28 am - Reply

    I have to admit I was kind of hoping this entry was going to be about a drunken black out ;-)

  6. Tomas Stonkus December 1, 2009 at 3:44 am - Reply

    Who am I? Yes. I asked that question myself many times. The best answer that I could come with is this: I am organized energy.

    I believe that to be my answer. The implications that come with are a completely different story. But it shapes my fundamental understanding of the world and the way I look at and value things.

    Everybody should answer that questions for themselves. Even though there might be one true answer somewhere, it is up to us to interpret so that it best suites our lives.

    I cannot say I have had such an extreme experience, but I can say that I panic sometimes when I realize how temporary everything is.

    Thanks for a great post.


  7. Cate December 1, 2009 at 6:28 am - Reply

    I don’t think we can ever truly know who we are… we may have an occasional insight, sometimes care of an experience something like yours, Annabel, but I suspect that we are not so much constantly reinventing ourselves as slowly uncovering truths.
    As we get older, what others think of who we are becomes less important and we can allow more of the real ‘us’ out. One thing is for certain, just as you start to feel comfortable that you have found the ‘real you/me’, something will happen to challenge perceptions. Doesn’t mean we can’t search for who we are, though – just makes the journey more interesting! :-)

  8. Annabel Candy December 1, 2009 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Bradley – Well, as long as you’re not dwelling on the past that’s the main thing.

    Connie – Sorry to disappoint! I might have had a couple of glasses of Sauvignon though but nothing too extreme:)

    Tomas – Organized energy sounds cool. I prefer to think of myself as a person who likes certain things but not others. It’s about working our what your values are and finding other people with the same values.

    Cate – Yes, we are all changing, constantly evolving and reassessing. So true. It does make life interesting. Confusing at first but interesting once you get used to the idea and accept it.

    Cate –

  9. Randall December 1, 2009 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Another great post! It is hard to be a wage slave and think about these questions always dreaming about a better life! These questions, I really ask myself everyday! Mostly on Mondays. Hope the Possum is doing alright! Thanks Randall

  10. Oscar - freestyle mind December 2, 2009 at 12:11 am - Reply

    I liked this post. I’ve never experienced this before in the form you wrote it, but sometimes I did it consciously in particular situations, and it helped me.

  11. Jared Yellin-Brandentity December 2, 2009 at 3:26 am - Reply

    This is a message that will enable anyone reading it to ponder and relate these three universal questions to their own lives. These three questions are the essence of what makes us who we are in this world. This is our identity and this enables us to define our authentic self. I admire how you relate this concept to fainting because what this event forced you to do was LIVE IN THE NOW. This is why you asked yourself a question that most would never even dare to approach.

    Because the WHO AM I has nothing to do with your career, relationship, bank account, past events, addictions, disorders, etc., it has nothing to do with any of the labels in your world, but instead it has to do with your purpose, mission, and vision for life. It deals with giving and receiving recognition and gratitude. It deals with loving yourself and the people in your world unconditionally. And it deals with waking up each morning with more passion than the day before.

    Although all of this sounds wonderful in theory, its implementation takes time, energy, effort, and most importantly a strong sense of consciousness. It is not necessarily something you achieve, but rather something that becomes part of your life and influences every decision you make.

    I truly love this post Annabel and thank you for sharing a message that all of us NEED to hear!

    PS: I hope you are feeling okay after fainting!

  12. Eric | Eden Journal December 2, 2009 at 6:58 am - Reply

    When I ask how did I get here, another question comes to mind. Where did all the time go? It makes me wonder if I’ve made effective use of my time to get where I’m at today.

  13. Robin Dickinson December 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Annabel, your black-out experience reminds me of a friend of mine who has an existentialist answering machine message.

    Can it and you get his voice saying, “This is Michael. Who are you and what do you want? And if you think they are insignificant questions, think again.”

    I would add to the serious part of your discussion by saying that once the search for who you are is over, and YOU are found, everything else quickly falls into place.

    Best, Robin

  14. Annabel Candy December 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Randall – Oh dear, you’re on the work/weekend treadmill. Don’t stress it, these things can take time to sort themselves out. The possum is fine and they have called her after me. Anna! So excited about this so now there is a new strand to my being – possum savior!

    Oscar – Well done for being proactive and asking yourself these big questions without the need for a strong bang on the head.

    Jared – Yes, I seem to have made a full recovery. Brilliant insights from you and looking forward to putting up your guest post so you can share more of your tips.

    Eden – Time flies. As long as they were happy times that’s the most important thing.

    Robin – Haha, your friend doesn’t write a personal development blog does he? I think you’re right – knowing and accepting who you are is really the key to happiness. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to fathom myself out but it’s been a fun journey and I don’t suppose it will ever end:)

  15. Webwordslinger December 2, 2009 at 11:00 pm - Reply


    Your post reminds me of something George Carlin said: “Nobody knows what’s going to happen next but we all do it.”


  16. Annabel Candy December 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Paul – That’s a funny one and sums it up really:)

  17. teresa December 5, 2009 at 1:20 am - Reply

    I loved that post! I want more fainting fit blogs! You may have to self-induce them from now on though! I cannot believe that you have done it again!!! Someone only said to me last week…’Go find Teresa’ which to be honest made me switch off completely (I don’t like people talking about me to me in the third person, it just sounds silly!) But now you have said it, I understand…Oh thank you oh wise guru! I am very grateful to have you in my life :)

  18. Hilary December 6, 2009 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Annabel – glad to hear you’re better and hope that that was all it was …

    All the best –
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

  19. marina December 7, 2009 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Dear Annabel,

    I have followed your website for a couple of weeks now and find it very inspiring.

    Thank you especially for this post!

    Whenever I find myself lost in thoughts running around in my head about the past or the future, I think about this post and ask myself who I am and who I want to be or what I want to do right now, and I am back in the here and now :)

    Thanks again, from Holland.

  20. janet December 11, 2009 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    That’s a bit freaky, I think you should start taking iron tablets – shouldn’t be randomly fainting like that!!

  21. 2009 Article Round Up May 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    […] My Black Out and Life’s Big Question […]

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