Identity




I was building momentum for months up to this point. I felt such a strong call deep within my soul to trek back across the country one thousand miles to answer it. I knew that whatever the universe is calling me to look at in my life next was big. I suppose I never realize exactly how big the work I have to do is until I arrive. It's a terrible cyclic theme with me, one that I grow more exhausted by daily.

As I write this now, I am sitting in a room full of windows. This room was built by my grandfather, and throughout the years my father has continued to work on it as well. It is where the table for holidays sits, and where many dinners in my childhood occurred.

Ahead of me lies the beautiful screened porch my father built for my mother. We spend our nights out there drinking coffee and chatting. To my left is the yard that contains the children's fort and playhouse that I romped through in my youth. To my right is the backyard that is unrecognizable from my youth. It was once a grassy hill that had no value. Over the years my father has used machinery to dig it out and flatten it, creating more space for his ever-growing garden and filling in gravel to create more parking space for all of us.

I am both paralyzed and elated, and unsure how to cope with that feeling. I have never quit a job in my life with nothing lined up, unless I was being abused by a boss. Even then, I had already technically lined things up so that I would be employed within a few days. Now I sit typing away and asking myself hard questions.

What is it that you want to do? 10 years ago the answer to that was to be a police officer. I went to school and got degrees in criminal justice for that reason. I strived to be a police officer. I let that dream fade rather quickly when policing started going down hill and causing more problems than helping. Now I can't even imagine wanting to go into that as a career. I decided to go into security, hoping for a similar experience but with less costly mental taxation on me.

I moved to New England, and laid the foundation for the life I had always desired. But in June of last year I realized I had to go back to the south. I have answered the call, but I am unsure what is next. I was writing my novel with a fervor I hadn't felt in a long time over the winter.

However, I've been here nearly 2 weeks now. In the way of "work" I have nothing to show for that time. My van is not unloaded like I had intended, my room is sparse, and I feel like I haven't helped around the house nearly enough.

There are a whole host of issues going on around me and I feel powerless to change or help with them. The only real answer I can come up with is throwing money at them, but that's a bandage that would only fall off sooner rather than later. It would enable the situation further, and at the end of the day would teach nothing to those involved.

Meanwhile I am living off my small hoard of money I accumulated. I am by no means rich, but I live well below my means with my minimalist lifestyle. At heart I am a dragon and like to sit on my pile of treasure without spending it. It is taking a lot of will power to remain calm during these times, as I watch it trickle away steadily into various things.

The hard questions keep coming. Who am I, now? When nothing is left, who am I? I've given up everything to be here yet I still have no answer to who I am or where I am going. Some part of me knows that Montana is my next destination, but a part of my heart is broken and was left in Connecticut.

I struggle with disappointment in myself for not having a better idea of what I should be doing right now. I know I should be writing. I should be writing my heart out into my novel. The words just aren't coming though, so instead I took the time to write my thoughts out for the blog instead.

I am feeling aimless, but also as though I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I know this weekend I am going to head out into nature, to my old spot at the creek where I used to swim naked when I was younger. It has fond memories for me of simpler times. Eliza and I used to eat a picnic lunch there and bask in the sun after a few hours of swimming and meditating. It was a place where we had less cares, and the burdens of adulthood hadn't quite landed on our shoulders yet.

I have been forced to grow an incredible amount in the last few years, and yet I still don't know who I really am.

It is a difficult task to objectively examine yourself.
First you must strip away everything you assumed was your identity.

Take away the job titles
Take away the familiarity
Leave the city that nurtured you
And the home that sheltered you
Walk away from the empire you built for yourself

When you're standing completely bare in the mirror -

What is left? When the people are gone and your life is empty of any structure? What parts of you are left standing?

This is a pause in the timeline.
What will you bring back, and what will you leave behind?
What served you? What shackled you?
What parts of yourself had you forgotten?

Pieces left behind, swept under the rug
Abandoned in the past
And yet now they surge to the surface
Echoes of ghosts that can't be outrun.

You can tear the woman from the wild
But nothing can suppress the wild within the woman.

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