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)
Thanks for the great example of how to be where we are and what we are … even when we don’t know what either of those things is in the moment. Sometimes I feel sure … today I haven’t a clue. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Sending love.
I relate so well to your blog and can relate so well with your feelings of vulnerabilty. Thanks for writing it.
And we are all in the Dance together… Vulnerable. Venerable. Very.
Thank you, Catie, for your beautiful, openheartedly vulnerable perspective.