The Basics of Who I Am To Me

by justine

Exhaustion hit me today, but not in the way I thought. My energy was manic, with a 3m run, cleaning and spending hours on the phone. There was something primal about it all – I was reconnecting to my body, my environment and my friends. This is how I treat my body when I respect it. This is how I like to live in my space. These are the people who know this me that I live out each day, and not the idealized (or under-performing) me of my parents’ opinions. I needed to reboot somehow, but I could tell that I was engaging in an old habit – trying to squelch the NOT ENOUGH! Monster by over-doing it.

Luckily, I realized what I was doing and decided to take a few hours to myself. So here I sit, reading blogs, updating Twitter and basically being a loaf. Found that Jen Lee has a multimedia course that I’m looking forward to spending my “therapy as fun” money on. Rediscovered 99% and Gypsy Girls Guide. Didn’t even get into Jeffrey Davis or Shutter Sisters.

And while I am inspired and full of excitement, I am struggling with what this all means for / to me. By “this all” I mean the great big inter-web.

Does the internet really need another blog? What thoughts and conversations am I bringing to the table? What interactions do I need from this channel? Are there other, more profound things I could be doing with my time? And what kind of stuff can I write without using the word “I” 100x?

I’m not downplaying my need to create, but I am concerned that this isn’t the right medium for me. I want so badly to be involved in a shutter sisters or Squam Art workshop tribe, but I have no wares to bring to market. And I don’t mean having a creative business, but about having content and a container.

I’m not turning out anything – no stories, blog posts, poems, photos. I seem to be, but this is a guise. I am choosing to look creative over actually creating. Serendipitously, this is the topic for Week 5 of AW: the cost of appearing good instead of being authentic.

“We strive to be good, to be nice, to be helpful, to be unselfish. We want to be generous, of service, of the world. But what we really want is to be left alone. When we can’t get others to leave us alone, we eventually abandon ourselves. To others, we may look like we’re there. We may act like we’re there. But our true self has gone to ground.” pg 98, Artist Way (1992)

I know this all too well as I’ve lived my life, specifically the past 9 years. How much of myself I buried, lost, pushed under, how tired I felt. And I’ve spent a good bit of time in the past year trying to excavate, rebuild and remember the basics of who I am to me.

These are just the starting thoughts of something bigger, some way of finding my way in this world, but you have to start where you are. And here I am.