I’ve been struggling lately — wondering who I am, what IS my purpose, what’s next for me. A number of life’s events converged to bring about this past year of diffusion. I was knocked flat for nine months by a medical treatment for hepatitis C only to learn the treatment didn’t work. In the middle of it all I turned 60. I haven’t totally regained my former strength, I don’t know if I will and wonder if it’s possible or if it really matters. I’m writing a book that keeps changing. My husband just had orthopedic surgery. He’s strong and will recover well, but the whole experience makes us both feel vulnerable.
OK, I said it. Vulnerable.
I know that being vulnerable is part of my humanity. I know that being flawed is all I can be. It isn’t humanly possible to be perfect. I wasn’t a perfect student, parent, sister, daughter or spouse. I never had a perfect body or perfect health. I don’t have a perfect kid. I am grateful that I’ve never sought a perfect life, how exhausting to strive for the impossible. My life is perfectly imperfect, the truth of our human existence.
Even though I’ve expressed and shared much of my vulnerability, I also see that there are layers of vulnerability. Just being willing to allow myself to be vulnerable is a courageous act. I’m not a victim and I’m immensely grateful for my life. I live in gratitude; I have a wonderful life, even as I haven’t a clue. My opportunity now is to take the next step in embracing and loving the confused, aimless part of me and let go of the need to figure out who I am.
I sometimes envy people who are so sure, so solid in their ego identities. They don’t wonder who they are; they just DO who they are. At the same time, I appreciate the richness and depth of allowing myself to be in “not knowing” and surrender to “not knowing” as part of my journey.
So I write, coach, mentor, take walks, dance, nap, love, play, laugh, honor my needs, stay connected to others and, yes, plan for the future. I’ll be myself, because I truly can’t be anyone else.
(Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. — quote by Oscar Wilde)