Who am I? Who have I been? Who do I want to be?
Of course, since via music is one of the easiest ways I process my thoughts and emotions, the first thing that comes to mind is song lyrics.
I’m a Bitch, I’m a mother, I’m a child, I’m a lover. (Meredith Brooks)
And while the melody and lyrics continue on in the background of my mind, I really pause to consider… Who AM I? Who have I BEEN? Who do I want to BE?
More lyrics, different songs…The Who? The Little Mermaid. Gloria Gaynor. And so on and so forth. Then, one of my patented lines comes to mind… Of course I have no idea who I want to be. I often joke that I don’t even know what I want to do or be when I grow up. Side note: I turned 40 in 2016. If I’m not “grown up” by now, I doubt I ever will be…or maybe it’s just that I don’t WANT to be grown up… Hmm.
So again…Who am I? I’m me. I’m not who I used to be. I’m the coal at the center of the diamond I will become. I’m already on the way, but I’m not there yet.
I go by many names or nicknames, but none of them speak as to who I am…though they may speak to things I do or passions I hold. But they are limiting, finite. They do not encompass ME.
I am a strong, fiercely independent, intensely loyal, and passionate woman. I believe in tough love, but kind words. I believe in treating others as I want to be treated. I fight for what is right, but I also hide behind myself. Who I am is who I want to be. Fake it until you make it? Maybe more believe you can be who you want to be, and assume those attitudes and behaviors until they are your own. I’m neurotic, and sometimes insecure, though I’m not the child I was a decade ago, still hidden beneath time, scared to be myself. Love me or hate me, though, now, I’m just me.
I love my family, even when I don’t like them much. I am much loved by my partner, even when we don’t like each other, much, and his passion, loyalty, and devotion mirror my own. This second match in my life fits me so much more cleverly than my first match…which fit us together more like puzzle pieces that seem to match and stay linked together until you get down to seeing the full picture, then all of the sudden, you realize those two pieces have nothing in common, that in fact, they belong in opposite sides of the picture from each other – and despite the seemingly linked colors and shapes, they’re each part of something entire different from each other…perhaps not even part of the same puzzle. I’m a proud mother, enjoying watching my daughter be such an original, unique soul, so glad to have taught her to forge her own path, whatever that entailed…even if I wasn’t to guide her all of the way. Soon, she’ll be that you woman, off on her own, touching the world in fascinating new ways…
I find, too, that the family we choose, the family of the heart, such as many of you who will actually read this are to me, that family binds itself deeper into ourselves and our souls than any family in name or blood only. And those that are both family by name or blood AND family by choice, why those bonds are doubled or trebled in depth and strength.
I am strong and I am weak. I am a paradox by birth. I am all things, and nothing… In some ways, I know NOT who I am. In other ways, I not only know who I am and who I’ve been, but who I am capable of becoming.
Regardless of all of those things. I am here. I am present in this moment. And for this moment, I feel hope, the endless potential furling out in front of me, as it a beautiful landscape painted by a loving hand, to capture dream, reality, and potential, all in one image, somehow without blinding me to the truth.
Who I was, who I have been in my past, well, they are just a part of who I am today. Without those painful steps, those blissful times, those trials and tribulations, I wouldn’t have earned the strength to carry me to who I am today. But, today is not then end.
Who do I want to be? I want to be me. Preferably a better, smarter, more loving, balanced me, but still me. I don’t want to change and become someone or something else. I want to add strokes of color and accent, to define who I am, not change it. I want to show folks the aspects of me that are still lurking, hiding in the shadows of who I’m trying to be now. But much like we build muscle and definition by putting our bodies through work, repair, and rebuilding in the gymnasium, so to am I formed though the events, trials, and joys of my life, all strengthening me, shaping me into the me I am to be…
And since we know I cope mainly by finding the humor and irony in all things, I know that I’m not the only one determining the path that journey will follow. The others I encounter will alter my path, as will those watching from above and below. I may be buffeted in the storm, swept under the current, or even blown of my projected course, but as I believe, I will arrive where and when I am meant to be, as well as as the person I am meant to be.
Am I perfect? Never. Am I flawed, absolutely. But the most unique of us sparkle the brightest when the light hits us just right. Perhaps the rest of the time, we linger, unassuming, in plain sight…rarely noticed – or perhaps we seek the limelight. Everything is about perspective. What may be brilliant and lovely light from one angle may be blinding from another angle and even utter darkness from yet another angle.
But underneath it all, all the dirt, muck, and mire, the trappings of this world and my own self-doubt, my neurotic eccentricities, the attentiveness to detail, the utter chaos within, the face I let the world see, the side of my only those I love see, the me under it all, is just, well, me.
I make no apologies for that, nor should I. I may temper my flame to better suit a situation, but I will not permanently dim my light for anyone else, ever again. Doing so before almost killed me, but instead, I emerged, stronger, different, and ever changing…
So what does it all mean? Honestly, who knows? Does it even matter in the end? I’ve come to decide that who I MIGHT be one day in the future really is meaningless…and who I was is history, and therefore unchangeable, and therefore, relatively worry-free. And since I mostly like WHO I AM TODAY, IN THIS MOMENT, does that have to be defined, named, limited, or explained? I rather think not. So we’ll leave the mystery to the detective, the beauty to the beholder, but the fun/scary/exciting parts of today? Those I’ll keep…just for me…and for any of those of you wacky enough to follow along from home.
Who I am doesn’t matter a whit more to me than THAT I AM. For today, that’s quite enough for me.
Who are you?