“I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink
I sit and tell him ’bout my weekend
But he never betrays what he thinks
“Can you see the real me, doctor?
Can you see the real me, doctor?
— The Who, The Real Me
Two things occurred to me on this very odd day, from various conversations: 1) Getting stronger and healing only means there’s an even greater challenge to those attributes ahead, and 2) I’ve always considered reinventing yourself a process of building something new, but in reality, I’m feeling it’s actually matter of stripping away the things people have handed you over the years, and finding the real you.
This was one of those weird days, where weird things just had to happen (including things just sort of spontaneously breaking around me. Seriously, I shouldn’t have been allowed to be around anything breakable.) Today ended up holding some challenges against my anxiety issues, and all but one of them I managed to pass without hesitation or panic. OK, so one fail in the middle of everything else? I’ll take that as a win, particularly since some of the things those situations were up against are starting to get old enough to be called ancient. (Not all stories, nor all abuses ended up on my blog. Some things were told in secret to a very select few people.)
I was telling someone about it (because I couldn’t tell the whole story on here), that’s when them two things occurred to me. I told here that there were still more challenges ahead, but at the moment I felt I could take them on without issue.
That’s when it occurred to me: most of this reinvention (and ones proceeding it) wasn’t so much about changing “the real me”, but about getting rid of the stuff that hid that person. One of those challenges took me way back in time, back to when I was much more trusting, and when I was much more emotionally and physically approachable. (When I say physically, think hugs, not sex.) I had told more than one person that I felt I was reverting to the person I had been in my mid 20’s, but with the experience that comes with age. I realize now, that’s more true than I thought: the real me existed back then, though it had some secrets. As the years went on, I had taken all the things that happened to me over the years to heart. Slowly, it obscured the real me, from others and from myself. Eventually, I started to think that’s who I was, who I grew into.
Having taken on so much stuff in my head (and, that’s still not done – better doesn’t mean fixed), I’m starting to realize I really am becoming who I once was, but with experience. But, it does beg the question: is even that the real me? Who knows, but I’m thinking that’s who I want to be. 🙂 And, good god, that sort of makes me dangerous; thinking of the ideas and things I pursued when I was in my mid to late 20’s, but with experience? As long as I keep my brains working the way they should, there’s no insane plan I can’t pull off. I’ll be honest: I’ve got an evil grin on my face right now, thinking about it.
Now, not all of the reinvention is about that, though. Some things, like recent decisions I’ve made about teaching, are about new adventures and new horizons. Some of those do echo the past at times – Meredith commented on my desire to further explore teaching as being something she felt was both fitting, and a bit of a throwback to the past.
So, I’ll leave you with The Who, rocking and having an identity crisis: