I'm feeling a need for emotional downtime, processing time, a chance to write about what's on my mind. Except, what's on my mind is vague and nebulous and uncertain, and sometimes entirely too personal, and generally difficult to get into words.
I'm going through significant internal personal changes... but I don't know how to describe them in a way that would make any sense. I'm seeking new forms of expression, but entirely inexperienced and mostly silent with them yet. I'm feeling the end of summer, and while the cooler air is a blessed relief, the sense of impending dooooooom from seasonal depression is really kicking up. I have a nagging sense of having signed up for too much stuff but being uncomfortable trying to scale any of it back. Life just feels... weird.
My head comes up with a lot of overreactions lately, exaggerations, unrealistic responses to things going on around me. I keep it quiet because it's dumb stuff and potentially destructive and not how I want to live. It's an unusual amount though. I think there must be resentment buried under it somewhere, but I'd rather not whine about my generally good life having a few stresses. It seems shallow. And it might be peripheral to the sheer amount of self-redefinition I've been attempting.
Oh, hey, I can probably talk about that part.
So, for this to make sense, you have to start from a baseline of where I was (in my head) in the past... which is something opposite or different from whatever I'm listing here as changes. Some of it is honestly quite old; I assume I was influenced by the cultures portrayed in the very old books I read as a child, when I had no one to help me put it into cultural context. Anyway.
I've been exploring personas, a bit. Exploring a more feminine way of dressing and being. Exploring vocal drama, varying ways of spoken interaction, body language, and physical drama. Exploring storytelling and theatrical flair. Exploring comedy in spur of the moment verbal humor. (I typed humor as human. I like that too.) Exploring ways of defining myself as an individual, separate from any group I belong with, lived with, or identified as. Exploring daring to ask for what I want in life and go after it wholeheartedly without guilt or embarrassment, especially sexually. Exploring the idea that I can choose to stop being afraid of simple things - like entering a new restaurant where I don't know the etiquette - by simply choosing that I will go through the motions and stay grounded in my body and have a good time. In short, I'm exploring the idea of living my life for myself without the queen of clouds running the show with her limitations around propriety, morality, fear, and shame.
And, well... that's huge. I don't think I could come up with a bigger way to change my life if I tried.
It's also really subtle.
These aspects of myself, the things that restrict me; I don't let them show very often. Oh sure some are unavoidable. But most of my limits are silent sneaky internal things, that by their very nature, evade social detection. Because really, I don't like to be boxed in by other people thinking I'm a certain thing, and then being surprised when I'm different... so I try not to let them develop a fixed idea of who/what I am. My own limits change with my moods and my choices and my growth; it does me no good for friends to think I am more limited and expect only that of me. And then... I find myself undergoing change, big change, in places where they didn't even know I was holding back, which means I have no one to talk with who understands me. Annoying little complication there.
What if the limits I see aren't real? What if I could simply choose to step past them?
I am not my family. I am not my past. I am not my childhood, nor my wounds, nor my schooling. I am not my culture's ideal, nor its idea of a good girl or a bad girl; and I am not Woman in the archetypal sense, and I am not a rebel to any of those things either. I am not my communities. I am not my job, my role, nor my teams. I am not just a thing to get tasks done, even when I am too busy to remember anything else. I am not my fleeting desires, and I am not my dreams or plans, or my hopes or fears.
Sometimes, my words or my art show glimpses of me. Like sunlight through a spinning crystal, it's just a sliver of rainbow, glinting and then dancing away. Sometimes, my learning and interests show glimpses of me, when I have the time to look deeper. Often, my desires reveal me, more so than anything else, for they speak of needs that drive my choices, my goals, my sense of self. And then they, too, pass.
I am not my dreams for the future, for I gave those up years ago when reality broke those bubbles. I haven't made new ones yet. It's enough work choosing how to spend my days; I'm not ready to plan how I spend my years.
And... in ceasing to rebel against popular culture, while also not chasing or embracing it... I am finding there are pieces I can use. Pieces I have missed out on and want to explore, try on, and play with now. I feel weird about them; guilty for even considering it, shallow somehow, but also proud of finding my own path that isn't purely rebellion. More willing to be eclectic, to put together my own collage. And, more willing to reject wisdom or culture that doesn't fit with my own needs and personal experience, even if I generally trust the source and participate in those communities.
Meanwhile... I am tired, and not getting enough time to process, and finding myself irritable and snappy, which doesn't fit the values around kindness that I want to live by. That's frustrating. I'm really not comfortable with my own anger or aggression, or even mild irritability... fearful of negative impact. And, it just doesn't fit my internal sense of ethics. So there's some lack of resolution going on around all that too.
So much in my head, so little happening verbally or even via blogging. I'm chewing on a lot, and some of it isn't shared here because it will come across as cold or unkind to others... particularly since I'm pretty sure my mind is blowing imagination stories way out of proportion and being all dumbly mythical with it. That should pass when I'm better rested and less stressed.
I had a dream the other night, of one of my siblings shrugging off our culture entirely, as he embraced a new life as a fisherman for an island village, helping to feed the village's children. I woke up uncertain what it meant. I think I "got it" just now, from the perspective of "you are all the characters in your dream." It's my own fight to find my individuality and value in spite of the cultural messages I internalized; it's my process of trying to create and embrace a new me that isn't dependent on all those old messages. It's my mind asking me, can we really do this? Can we shrug off the old self and create a new life? Create a life of value? It's also my brain saying, Do you realize how big this is?
But I don't think there's any going back. While I don't have words, I have a feeling that I am pursuing, whose carrot is freedom.
The path is pretty bumpy though.
o/~ I will be... I am me... Pure possibility... o/~
(We sung that while doing a spiral dance at the end of the last intensive. Good memories.)