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Asking myself the hardest question

May 5, 2014

I have unconsciously navigated myself into an unfamiliar frame of mind. It’s a very good thing that I’m out of my comfort zone because maybe, for the first time, I can break the primal pattern that went wrong in infancy.

And yet. . . breaking primal patterns never goes smoothly. I don’t mind fits and starts, since many of my creative processes are inherently iterative, but. . . I’m scared of where this might go.

I’m scared of where I am already.

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When situations become terribly uncomfortable, in the back of my mind I know I have a nuclear option available. I tell myself it’s unthinkable, but obviously it isn’t.

I tell myself I don’t want to do it. I tell myself it’s a last resort. Only if I’m pushed to the wall.

But . . . I’ve now realized, stepping off this cliff feels oddly safe. In a bad way.

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What if the scariest option imaginable is not fleeing the scene of recent disasters? Not burning the place to the ground, while running ahead of the flames?

What if . . . standing my ground, and truly and deeply being a bricoleur [using materials that are easily at hand] . . . is one challenge I have always dodged?

After all, if I’m still crossing a bridge I myself have torched (but no one else knows the identity of the arsonist), no one can blame me for doing whatever I must to survive.

Complicating my thinking process today, sometimes in the past, I really did need to leave, to save myself.

But today, right now, I feel/think my greatest challenge may be to hold firm. While yet continuing to evolve. To stake my claim, as, essentially, a person who is complete, is whole, is worthy. And therefore — for the first time — I don’t need to run away from my self/selves.

I don’t need to torch my own life because it’s me living it, so obviously it’s horribly flawed. Obviously I am inherently unlikable.

After all, I’ve written about my vulnerabilities enough that my neighbors know who I really am. That’s dangerous. That’s (potentially) fatal.

But maybe not this time.

Maybe I don’t need to evolve away from all those personas inside.

Maybe being a girl is allowed. Maybe being a boy is allowed. Maybe being no gender is allowed.

Maybe being 6 years old, and a baby, and 10 years old, and 21, and 47, and everywhere in between is allowed.

Maybe being someone who wanted to be so many things that I couldn’t figure out how to make happen . . . doesn’t mean that I’m a failure, a monster, an alien being.

Maybe the pernicious idea of “having potential” that I’m somehow not using correctly . . . is part of how I’ve been terrorizing myself.

  • Who am I to write about Chesapeake Bay?
  • Who am I to translate poetry?
  • Who am I to write poetry?
  • Who am I to write essays about anything at all?
  • Who am I to think anything useful can be gleaned from my life?
  • Who am I to try to be happy?
  • Who am I to dream big dreams, even still, after failing at so many earlier dreams?

Who am I?

I don’t know.

Maybe all my previous lives had to dissolve, as they have, so that I would be forced to confront that fundamental question, without the shield of thinking I know the answer.

Who am I?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2014 20:49

    Who are you, to NOT be happy? Or to NOT dream big dreams? You are worthy because you ARE.

  2. May 8, 2014 17:04

    That is a question that every one of us needs to answer for ourselves. To ponder life is a challenge that one needs to face. There is one thing that is true no matter the circumstances or who you are. I have found that it is all a choice. You choose your limits. You choose what and where you will be.

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