September 18, 2009

The Old New Me

I haven't written in a while for no other reason than I just didn't feel like it. But I just moved to New York City last week and the freshness of my surroundings has encouraged me to begin blogging again. It feels good to write and I enjoy the struggle to articulate my muddled pile of thoughts.

I had been anticipating this move to New York for months. In August, as I indulged in family time at my beach house, I started meticulously making lists of everything I wanted to complete, explore, and become when I moved. I wanted to start up my yoga practice again. I wanted to avoid TV and read books from the library. I wanted to join a community group and volunteer. I wanted to support local farmers and only buy from local markets. I wanted to find socially conscious people who I could discuss my dreams and frustrations with. The list, rightly named "The Next Chapter," quickly became longer and longer with my internal desires. And I LOVED this list. I carried it around with me from room to room at my house, adding character traits and habits that "the new me, in the next chapter" would acquire. Having the list was great because it meant that I didn't need to start on being "the new me," until I actually moved. Sure there was a yoga studio down the road from me in Canada, and a weekly farmers market, and people I could connect with, and places to volunteer...but I wasn't "there" in New York City yet, so while I was "here" still in Canada, I could still be the "old" me...unmotivated, undisciplined, and unable to meet my own desired standard of living. But "here" was comfortable, so I felt entitled to enjoy it for as long as I could.

So, now that there has become here, I am thirstily drinking what the city has to offer before I start my job next week. However, I must admit, most of motivation to explore stems from fear. And I am my biggest fear. I know my own tendencies too well. As a lover of routine and simplicity, I know I will quickly become trapped in a daily ritual. Of course nothing is wrong with ritual, but, unfortunately, my rituals tend to become unbreakable patterns of permanency anchored in self-absorption. And this leads me to awake each day feeling trapped by the weight of the world.

But now, I have the opportunity to choose my rituals before they start. And this is liberating!
The only problem with my new found liberation is that I have already confined it with artificial time constraints. I am only liberated until my routine begins, at which point, I am once again encircled in schedules and new old habits and routines. I quickly forget that each day is in of itself an opportunity to liberate myself from "the old me." I forget to believe that the end of each day is a death and the beginning of the next, a rebirth. I fail to realize the essence of who I am--one who is impermanent, malleable, fluid. Instead, I continue to hold onto fixed views of myself, clinging to these characteristics because they help define me to the world and offer a comfort in my own predictability. Such that I wake up each day without a feeling of surprise, with the expectation of sameness, with the entitlement of routine. And it makes me feel safe. But despite this safety, deep down, I am already planning for the future, for when the "next chapter" can begin, so that I can recreate myself, remold myself into a better version of me. And though I clothe myself each day with my traits from the day before and wrap myself in the heavy cloak of "Kerryness," I yearn to put on a different wardrobe or even no wardrobe at all. I yearn to be free of myself.

And to do this, to free myself, I need to stop defining "the next chapter" as a set point in the future. I need to go to bed each night knowing that tomorrow is already a new chapter. And I need to wake up knowing I am free to be the person I want to be today, knowing that my inadequacies and predictabilities and stagnancies of yesterday have died in the night, knowing that whether I decide to be the "old" me today or the "new me" today, I have a choice in the matter. Because on this morning, I am reborn.


  1. Kerry,

    Welcome to NYC!! I'm thrilled you are here. I just came across your blog and I love it! It's are such a talented writer....Your posts are incredibly interesting and well written....I actually started up a blog this year, as well for my Nutrition Business, The Healthy Apple at Interesting enough, I have some great posts about cravings as well and I am very interested in all of the NYC Markets and clean, green eating....
    Looking forward to catching up and hopefully seeing you soon. Let me know if you'd like to join me at the markets as I frequently visit them each week!


    The Healthy Apple

  2. Ker!

    Just thinking about you and glad to see you have emerged, at least partially, from the haze that seems to seep in after the bar.

    I, too, am redecorating my life although it seems less new and more like getting back to the basics. The basics that somehow get lost between Torts and Contracts. I keep saying that I feel like my body is coming out of a long, deep sleep and it's nice to be awake again!

  3. Ker, I loved this post! I loved the part about going to bed each night knowing that tomorrow is a new chapter. Especially after my particularly difficult day at work yesterday, I soooo appreciated the reminder that today is a new day!!

    Love you.