Life has been busy the past couple of weeks, so I'm taking the afternoon to chill. Therefore you get another classic post. This one is from two years ago.
have this weird thing. I don't seem remember much about who I was in
the past. It's like I'm totally detached from previous iterations of
myself and I don't even feel like past "mes" were me at all.
may be something deep and psychological to this. Or maybe everyone
feels that way. But when I look into the eyes of the girls in this
picture I know they all look like me, but I'm not sure I can say who
they were. I just know I'm a very different person now.
all liked to write. They all had a sense of humor. And they were all on
a journey of self discovery. But to one degree or another, I was always
working to leave a part of them behind me where I would never have to
look at it again. That's what growth is in many ways...a constant
shedding of skin in search of the ever more luminous iterations of "me"
hoping to reach the surface. Or maybe that's exfoliation. I'm not sure.
:D Because, like exfoliation, the minute your "new skin" reaches the
surface, it begins on a course of death and flakiness until it, itself,
is shed. Just exposing it to the world to interact with outside forces
sends it careening into certain obsolescence.
girl in the top row was really just trying to figure out who she was.
The woman in the middle row...she's not someone I liked so much. She
fell into a superficial trap and cared more about how others viewed her
than how she viewed herself. The woman on the bottom row, well she's
more like the woman I am today. Still searching. But looking more inside
herself for the things she needs to be happy, rather than outside of
it bothers me in some ways that I can't identify with any of those
women, not even the most recent—the one in the sparkly fortune teller's
turban in the lower right hand corner. None of them seem to have
captured the essence of me, not in photos or in reality.
in the days of the middle row, I used to feel like there was a "me
inside of me" that was curled up in the fetal position, crying. Sad, I
know. She would mostly come out at night, in the quiet moments as I lay
down to sleep. She used to really bother me, because she felt trapped
and I didn't know how to let her out. So I ignored her for years.
Pretended she wasn't there. Those last two girls in the top row used to
feel like her sometimes. It's like I swallowed them up and contained
them within a new, shinier container, thinking it would make the pain go
away. And it seemed to. For a while.
did eventually make peace with her, though. I had to. She became to
pained to ignore. So I nurtured her. I stopped a lot of negative self
talk. I got rid of toxic and abusive people in my life. I learned how to
handle my fears. And today the me inside of me is uncurled and living
peacefully within me. But I still feel like she's captive to a
degree...silent, content, but hoping to feel the air on her skin just
once before she dies. She hasn't been fully integrated yet. She's just
led by a kinder master.
I wonder if "the real me" or the "authentic me" is elusive like a
Sasquatch. You might catch glimpses of it, but you can never quite meet
it head-on and ask it out to tea. No matter how times I've felt like
I've finally reached my authentic self, I shed my skin again and that
woman is lost to history. But with each layer shed and with each new
iteration, I do feel like I understand my true self better. That "me
inside of me" seems to fill out my skin more and more over the years.
And I come more to peace with what I find inside of me, which brings me
more to peace with the people and situation I find outside of me as
think we've been led to believe that "our true self" or our "authentic
self" is a destination that we reach one day when we have amassed a lot
of wisdom. But I'm coming more and more to believe that it doesn't
exist. I think "authenticity" is more like a continually evolving
journey. Sure, there's a core to us that remains constant throughout our
lives. But that core is surrounded by a continually changing and
evolving ether that, like quicksilver, is difficult to hold or contain.
And I'm good with that. It makes life interesting. And I'm certain that
if I ever stopped seeking—if there is a destination to ultimately
reach—then life would lose its purpose. I've invested too much in this
journey to ever be satisfied by reaching its end.