before I knew at all

"Penelope Unraveling Her Work at Night" by Dora Wheeler,  1886
“Penelope Unraveling Her Work at Night” by Dora Wheeler, 1886

“In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed.
I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it,
before I knew at all who I was,
what I was,
what I wanted to be.”

– Mary Oliver