I haven’t exactly been myself lately.
For the last few months, I have been feeling not OK. If you don’t know me, I can assure you that I am a regularly OK person. In fact, my common default is a probably annoying level of optimism and high-pitched reflections of being OK. This has not been the case lately. In spite of my recent emotional downturn, I’ve luckily managed to keep up on my tasks at work, continue feeding my darling child (cat), and generally maintain good hygiene (without succumbing to the bullshit of hairbrushes). Luckily, I’ve always been good at finding a way to do the things that need to be done, which, as of late, has probably saved me from ruin. But, really, what good is a step or two ahead of disaster? Barely making it is not for me. It simply isn’t me.
But if I haven’t been myself lately, who am I anymore?
This story has a happy ending, so stick with me. I’ve been reading some cool (and confusing) stuff lately, including critical theory. Within the context of theoretical discussion, knowing who we are is actually pretty complicated. Is identity constant or fluid? Do we maintain our identities throughout our lives, or do we constantly create and adapt our identities as we figure out the world around us?
The last few months have been hard because I couldn’t find Me. I wanted back my happy and peppy self that dances in the morning, even if tired and stressed. I wanted back the ability to make jokes and laugh and to simply not think so much all the time. Basically, I wanted to reclaim an identity that seemed to have slipped between my fingers, but I didn’t know how. How could I get the “old me” back?
Here’s my current answer: Who cares?
“Who cares?” is one of my favorite questions, but until recently, I never pointed the question toward myself. Why should I care who I am or whether or not I’ve changed and whether or not that’s a bad thing? Who cares. I’ll change this question to a statement because I need no answer and I’m not asking anymore. Who cares. I choose to believe that identity is fluid, and we are always changing because the world is always changing, and why would we want to be the same stuffy person everyday when, instead, we can be always adapting to whatever the world presents us? Change is great. Bring on the change and bring on the fluidity and throw something at me that throws me off balance because I will benefit from it.
Right now, I’m airing my dirty laundry in an even dirtier apartment, and there’s a killer song playing on my stereo, and I am so fucking OK.