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On Remembering

It’s strange to say that I’m remembering myself — or bits of me — because I’d never thought that one could actually forget oneself. But apparently it happens. I’ve certainly experienced it these past few years. I didn’t realize how much of myself I’d forgotten until I was forced to be on my own for a while.

What’s scary is the damage that this forgetting can do. Whether it’s because I purposely let things go or because I simply became overly focused on other areas of my life, there was something that was lost. I began to feel scattered, unsure, afloat without an anchor. I wandered from one thing to the next trying to figure out just how to fix me. What I didn’t realize at the time, and only now am I becoming aware of it, is that it wasn’t about “fixing”, but “remembering”.

I remember a time when I laughed easily. I remember a time when I was confident in my words and that there was a playfulness to my nature. Why I forgot these things is beyond my understanding at the moment. I just know that I did. Perhaps I tried trading them for qualities I thought would better equip me for life in this world. I attempted to be a better socialite by mimicking friends, family, and mentors. But I only found an emptiness in “trying on” another’s clothes. The more clothes I tried on, the more I covered up my own. Suddenly I found myself, much like a child playing dress up, stumbling around in shoes that were too big for me and attempting to keep my hat from slumping down over my eyes. No wonder I couldn’t take myself seriously, nor could anyone else.

I find myself in a place of taking off these clothes (not in a strip-tease sort of way, though that would be pretty funny) and discovering what I’d covered up for so long. Okay, maybe the clothing analogy isn’t the best, but you get my drift. Realizing that my unique voice means something and was meant for me is a painful revelation because I have to face how much time I spent trying to be someone else. At the same time, it is such a blessing and a release to simply be, rather than feeling I have to try so hard.

I’m still peeling away all those layers that I piled on thinking they were going to do me good. And as I do, I’m remembering what I used to love, what I used to enjoy. And I’m also able to say I’ve learned something. Some of those clothes, though they didn’t quite fit, I liked the color of. Or I liked someone’s style preference. The potential to make some of these things my own is what keeps me from regret. Yes, I spent a lot of my life attempting to be this way or that, and through that process I’ve come to realize what I truly cherish about myself. That’s a good feeling. One that I hope others experience too.

So, perhaps like the little girl trying on her mother’s clothes, I have allowed myself to pretend long enough to come into my own. It’s now a matter of putting pieces together, fine-tuning what I have created for myself, and accepting all aspects that make me who I am.

For you created my inmost being,

you knit me together in my mother’s womb

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 

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