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Who I Am Inside, Mulan

Updated on August 19, 2015
PAINTDRIPS profile image

As a Baby-Boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.

Who am I?



I love this movie for several reasons. The first is the opening of the movie. For an artist, the invisible hand drawing the Chinese Brush painting is fascinating. Sometimes I will back up to the beginning and watch that segment over and over again. This two-disc special version has a segment on the second disc about how they came up with the opening and it wasn't easy. That part is heart rending because they tried so many different elements before they settled for the current one. Having to throw out artistic elements must have been very hard.

What will I be?


Ever feel like no one sees the REAL you?

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Second, the story of a girl who just wants to find out who she really is inside is so genius. The writers (at least one) had to be a girl. This is something we all deal with at one time or another. Women have so many girls inside them at different times of our lives. We are daughters, sisters, little girls, women, wives, mothers, grandmothers, girl friends, aunts, and so much more. Of course, my favorite song is the classic, "when will I see who I am inside" song Mulan sings. I have often backed up that part of the movie over and over again just to sing with her again. I have often felt that way. I don't often cross-dress and rush off to war to save my father, but then I'm not Mulan.

Me in the middle.
Me in the middle. | Source


Third, and so cool is the line the Emperor says at the very beginning. "One grain of rice could tip the scale." Sometimes one person could mean the difference between victory and defeat/disaster. One woman can make a difference. Just one can be the deciding vote. I think we girls often get in our heads that we are no one. We are insignificant. We have no voice and nothing to say. But the truth is any one of us could be a deciding voice, that one added to the rest could tip the scale. Like in the movie Horton Hears A Who when the one little boy's voice added to the rest finally broke through so that everyone could hear they were there. Definitely, I watch too many children's movies. However I find a classic moral and hidden message in each one. The trick is to see it and apply it to your life! If you haven't seen Mulan, get it now!

Making parents proud?


Christina Aguilara

Broken and Shattered
Broken and Shattered | Source

Mulan Reflections

The song she sings is pretty special. I have included the lyrics here:

Look at me,

I may never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter.
Can it be,
I'm not meant to play this part?
Now I see, that if I were truly to be myself,
I would break my family's heart.

Who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection someone I don't know?
Who is that perfect bride?
It's not me, though I've tried.
When will my reflection show, who I am, inside?
How I pray, that a time will come,
I can free myself, from their expectations
On that day, I'll discover someway to be myself,
and to make my family proud.
They want a docile lamb,
No-one knows who I am.
Must there be a secret me,
I'm forced to hide?
Must I pretend that I am someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show, who I am inside?
When will my reflection show, who I am inside?

Who am I?

I guess what hits me most is that I have had this same journey; who am I really?

I have been the daughter,

the big sister,

the failure,

the trouble-maker,

the babysitter,

the responsible one,

the creative one,

the reflective one,

deeply moody,

extremely cheerful,

Mom's little helper,

Daddy's little girl,

lover without a friend,

abused and battered wife,

ashamed divorcee,

mother of two,

artist without a degree,

teacher without credential,



breaker of social norms,

devoted Christian,

remarried wife,



College graduate after 60,

and so much more.

Each one defines me in a different light but who am I inside, like the song says? I am all and none of those things. I am me. Like so many people, I am still searching to be the best me I can be. Although I don't always hit the mark I would like to hit, I'm still trying.

How about you?

Self-discovery comments welcome

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      I know I'm behind the times with this movie and it has at least ten years on it... but I believe it is still relevant for today.