As 2016 draws to a close, Life seems to have kicked in to a higher gear. I’m trying to get my daughter moved out of state (which has its own set of challenges), family members are facing health concerns, the dating life is non-existent and the job is still moving at a frantic pace. So what does my girl-brain decide to do? Get hung up on an abstract detail of course. A once benign question morphed into a life-altering conundrum just when I need it the least…let me explain.
For a few years now I’ve run across someone locally who had my same name. We had the same dentist, used the same mechanic, and shopped at a handful of other stores. It was odd and often left me wondering if I had ever stood in line with this other woman, or even if there had been identity theft. Then a few weeks ago I gave in to the crazy urge and googled my name. Ugh! BIG MISTAKE! So many women share my name! Even a couple have the same middle name! WTH?
Ok – so nominally I’m not as unique as I thought. But then I started looking over some of the bios and reasons they show up in internet searches. Ironically most of them are in the medical, science or mental-health fields. These ladies have very distinguished careers, working to change the world and just generally make life better across the board.
Now, I’m an only child so I’ve never been subjected to the whole sibling rivalry/comparison thing. But reading about these women was about as close as I could have gotten. My other namesakes are brilliant and accomplished and recognized among their peers. And I’m…well…not. Suddenly girl-brain took this once vague idea and built a glorious temple around the concept of “compared to these women, who the hell am I?” I have recently spent too many hours on the cold marble floors of meaningless self-reflection just pondering that statement. Admittedly to little avail.
Oh the ponderings have run very deep at times, and I’ve made some interesting observations about myself and the state of my life. But there is still no definitive answer to “who am I?” Depending on the day of the week, how stressed I am, and a thousand other conditions, the answers vary from ‘an unappreciated mother who’s ready to strangle her eldest’ to ‘an old soul who’s tired of all the noise’ to ‘an imaginative writer about to burst onto the publishing scene’ to ‘a failure who just wants to go to sleep and never wake up’. Yeah – some days are harder than others, but these pondering haven’t been all bad. They’ve helped me take stock and see where I am, to accept what I’ve done in my life and what I haven’t done with my life. Which leads me to ponder what I will do to change that.
Who am I? I wish I knew – I wish I had a concrete answer that resonated in my spirit and just leapt out in response. But maybe its good that I don’t because it allows me to be whoever I want to be, or need to be, depending on what Life has thrown my way. I have also accepted that while other ladies may share my name, that’s about as far as we go in comparison of our lives and I need to leave it as such. I wish I could say girl-brain has torn down her temple of painful contemplation and let the subject go, but she’s just not quite there yet. I had her at least add a comfy couch and some soothing music so I could reflect in peace. Those marble floors are hard on the spirit as well as the knees.