It’s 2013. Feels good. I think. Although the year 2013 does sound sci-fi. I think it’s the “13”. So I am not totally sure how I feel about the inception of this year. I did, however, make a proclamation via Facebook where all important proclamation, declarations, exclamations, etc. are told for the world, or at least my “friends”, to marvel over. Sure, it was the 31st and even thought it was probably only about 9PM, I had imbibed a bit too much but I meant the words I wrote. At least I want to make sure I meant them. I do not enjoy eating my words; they get a tad stale.
For those of you who did not have the initial privilege of my proclamation of 2013, here it is: “Since I won’t be up till midnight, here’s the deal, friends. It’s all about being free. Being free to be you and me. So lets do it. No apologies. No faking it. No qualms about saying “fuck it” or “fuck you”. Now, bartender, another drink please. Cheers, friends!” Here’s the deal: I am 35, I have a husband and 2 kids and I deal with an above average level of anxiety over what is a perpetual identity crisis. I do not entirely dislike this crisis; we all suffer from it to some extent and it is one of the things that has the potential to keep us motivated; to figure it the hell out. Unfortunately, having the question “who am I??” running through your head all day every day can be paralyzing. I have been mostly paralyzed by this existential dilemma and I am sick of it. There are a slew of complex reasons why this is so; childhood expectations, brain chemistry, fear of failure, life’s circumstances but that is boring and not the point. The point is life happens and almost none of it is in our control. So I, and we, have to start with where we are now and what we have now and who we are now. I have spent too long wondering who I would be had I not….or how would my life be different if I had decided….It doesn’t fucking matter. Let me reiterate that: the past doesn’t fucking matter. There are people, more like ghosts at this stage, in my life who dwell in the past. They wring their hands and scratch their heads and devise futile plans to change the past by insisting on reliving it. I admit to having been one of those people; somehow determined to change what no longer existed in an attempt to become someone else; creating a false identity that might somehow replace the empty and lost one I walked around with day in and day out. Dangerous indeed. An identity that dwells in the past and worries about the future is a ghost; a vague shadowy form that haunts the present and shackles the only real identity anyone of us can hope for; the one that lives and breathes in this very moment.
My resolution to cure this identity crisis is about freeing myself from any guilt or regret or “what ifs” of the past. Any failures or loss of opportunities or dashed hopes are lessons and only in that way do they define who I am. This is the same for everyone; these things don’t define us. Everyone walks with failure and pain and probably a little regret. And it’s OK. I’m surrendering all those burdens and I resolve to give myself the freedom to understand and embrace and love myself from where I sit now; a creative and curious woman, a grateful, hopeful, introspective, flawed, confident mother, wife, friend, daughter, and citizen. I’m opening it up; I’m removing the shackles I placed on myself. Fuck it. And as for those of you out there who do not want to take this path, those ghosts and shadows of the past and demons of the future, I say with much aplomb, “Fuck you.”