Learning to Embrace the Long and Winding Road
Most of us believe we should have a pretty good idea of who we are, and where we're going to end up, by the time we reach a certain age. By the time all the hipster phases, college days and odd jobs are in our rearview, we expect to arrive at a stopping point where everything comes together, all of it making perfect sense. While many theories exist on what it means to "find yourself", from the whole process actually being an un-learning of our societal conditioning to the opposite - a process in which we "create ourselves" from scratch - most of these theories point toward the same underlying objective: to arrive at point of full understanding and contentment with who one truly "is." My take on all of this thus far is that I'm going to be on the journey for quite a while longer (spoiler alert: it doesn't end.) So what about the in-betweens? The times of confusion? The long middles and countless moments of indecision? What about the parts where we're still digging through, when we're trying to understand ourselves as we move from one phase in our lives to another? For me, this is where I've spent the most of my time in this life: letting go of who I think I am and trying to understand myself and who I'm becoming.
Evolving is good. It means we are constantly growing, shedding old layers of ourselves that no longer serve us in favor of stepping further and further into our own light. I happen to be an individual who wakes up each morning allowing myself no choice but to continually evolve, or else face such tragic circumstances within my own psyche that the very beauty of life would rapidly slip from my fingertips. My problem is this: because I am so bound to the commitment to my own growth, I tend to be "in the middle" a LOT more often then I'm in a resting place. I'm hardly at a point where I feel I know myself 100%, where I'm the person I was last month, last week, or even yesterday.
I'm a writer though, and yes, I am going to still call myself that even though my last post was in March...which is apropos to my next point. I only like writing when I'm in one of those "resting places", those blissfully ignorant moments where I'm so sure I know who I am that nothing can knock me off my rocker besides the next day…when I'll inevitably discover I still have more learning to do. I force myself to write occasionally when I am not in one of those places, but I have a committee in my head that likes to tell me those posts are far less useful than the other ones. I've been stuck in this rut for a couple of months now (hence, March) and then a miracle happened yesterday: I ran into someone who told me she "really liked my blog."
The second I heard someone say something positive about something I've been so hard on myself for, my insecurity temporarily vanished. I felt like a girl who could write anything, who was capable of writing even when she doesn't "have it all figured out" (and lets face it, I better figure out how to write when I don't have it all figured out, because I don't think I will ever, actually, have it all figured out. Ever.)
I thought about how being in transition tends to stop me from writing and typing, and my own attitude toward being in transition. While I tend to try and whip myself into being "ready" to do something I feel incapable of, it was nothing other than love and positive feedback that made me feel capable again.
Since I will likely never "arrive" at knowing exactly who I am, I get to wrap my arms around who I am today, and tomorrow, and all the days after, too. Most of us are in transition most of the time in one way or another, and while we're told and expected to be perfect by much of the world around us, what we really need is to embrace ourselves exactly where we imperfectly are. Life is not about arriving, it's about accepting myself while I'm on the road.
After all, it's looking like that's where I'll be spending most of my time anyways.