September 29, 2009

Today I lost myself.

Today I lost myself. Momentarily, of course. But moments are sneaky because they blur into the day and the day blurs into time, time forgets to tell us it is passing, and then these moments no longer seem so innocent.

It wasn't until I got Home today that I remembered to remember me.

It (the "losing me") began with the walk to the subway as I hurriedly crossed streets to a blinking of the red hand. I walked unnoticed and unnoticingly walked.

And then I sat on the subway, reading ads for learning English and plastic surgery.

And I stared at others as they vacantedly sipped their cheap coffee, getting lost in their thoughts that probably didn't exist.

And I sat at my desk, engulfed in suspected terror plots and the reasonableness of class action attorney fees.

And I walked out of the court house, thinking about the past and planning for the future.

And I checked my phone for no other reason than habit. And then 30 seconds later, I checked it again. No "new" news in the world that I was currently not checked into.

And then when I was near home, I felt a chill in the air, and I thought, "I am cold." And suddenly I remembered that I was feeling. Which led me to remember that "I am." Which reminded me that I was me. And it felt good to return to a state of remembering. To catch that moment before it fled. To truly breathe. To accompany myself back Home.

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.