I love that saying, it’s so hopeful isn’t it? However hopeful, the prospect of the transformation into a new self at the stroke of midnight, or even in the span of 365 days, is just not the reality of it. The very saying leads me to wonder, is there ever really a new “me”, or is it just the me that was already in there? That me that you always wanted to be, always knew you could be, but for whatever reason, were not?
I knew I had to do a year end post, because I’m a creature of habit and ritual, but since I’ve been off work for the last 10 or so days there isn’t much going on in the library realm. So, on this last day of the year, why not talk about me, or you, or us (you get the picture).
There’s a lot of versions of “me” I’ve met over the last 3 decades or so. But the one that I have managed to get to today is probably my favorite one yet. In my mind it goes something like this… When I was a kid I was exactly who I was. I didn’t worry about money, or beauty, or status. I had a great imagination and I wasn’t hung up, anxious, sad, depressed or addicted. I valued play and nature, and my own sense of wildness and wonder. I didn’t question my own instincts. As we grow up we have things happen to us. Some good, some bad. It seems like what we remember most is the bad, and that each time something just sticks with us that we can’t let go of or forgive or get past we add a layer of protection to ourselves. Again, for the sake of imagination, think of putting on another shirt, or coat, as to protect ourselves from the cold of the world. After the years this can pose a pretty big problem if we don’t remove these protective layers and just keep piling them on. If they get so thick it becomes hard to tell who or what is really under all our defenses, and makes it pretty difficult to move in any direction.
The tricky thing is some people get used to living under all the layers, it’s ok to even like it because it becomes comfortable and known. Some may realize they want out but become discouraged when you can’t get the shirts off all at once but only one at a time, and give up. I think that some people, when they get to a point that they have so much on that they can’t move or breathe, decide they must take it off it, one piece at a time because they have no choice. This takes months, years, an indefinite amount of time really, counseling, substances, mistakes, falling and getting back up. I don’t know if it’s ever finished because it’s a moving target. Maybe three shirts come off, but you put one back on because something new happened and you decide you still need it. It’s demanding work, and lonely work. Only you can do it, and you can’t take anybody there with you.
These versions of me include, but are not limited to:
The me I was
The me I thought I should have been to fit in
The me that said what others needed to hear
The me that didn’t stand up for myself
The me that stopped writing
The me that started again
The me that rebelled and hit my fists against the brick wall until they bled
The me that conformed for security
The me that was angry and blamed everybody but myself
The me that was impatient and unkind
The me that learned compassion
The me that was humbled by my own limitations
The me that demanded perfection
The me that allowed myself to fail again
The me that accepted and forgave
The me that I see in my mind and feel in my heart
The me that (I think) I’m destined to be
The me that I am today, which is well on her way to the above
In honor of being “me” this New Year’s Eve. I’m going to stay in with the cat and eat an entire bag of potato chips while wearing amazing cat pajamas that a dear friend bought me for Christmas. Am I even going to watch the ball drop? Eh, probably not. All I know is this year I’ll be right where I want to be, alone with myself. In honor of being alone with myself, I scheduled an hour in a float pod tomorrow, which is something I’ve always been curious about. What better way is there to be alone with yourself other than spending an hour sealed into a small egg like contraption, floating in shallow, body temperature, salinized water. I hope like Lisa Simpson, that I turn into my cat for at least a couple of minutes. Either way exploring my own inner world has been the key to finding that “me” that’s somewhere in there. I’m intrigued to see what comes up.
Happy New Year’s everybody!!
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