Monday, 8 October 2012

What I Am is What I Am

Day 60
305 Days Remaining

When I was a young teenager there was a song on the radio by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians called "What I Am".  To this day I can sing along with that song any time I hear it, which usually is only when I listen to the "oldies" stations.  Every time I think about doing a blog post about who I to describe myself...that song comes back into my head.  It's swirling around in there now and I'm trying to make sense of the lyrics, which I don't think I've ever really done before.

I'm not aware of too many things
I know what I know, if you know what I mean

When it comes to thinking about who I am and what I am, it can be difficult to really get a grasp on what is real and what is just something that I've allowed to seep into my belief system.  Am I someone who talks too much, or is that something I worry about doing, so I tend to ascribe it to myself as a personality trait?  Am I flighty and un-centered, or has someone told me that enough times that now I believe it about myself?
Philosophy is the talk on a cereal box.
Religion is the smile on a dog.
I'm not aware of too many things,
But I know what I know if you know what I mean.

Here is what I know to be true about myself.

My first name is Lisa, middle name Michelle.  I hate my last name - which happens to be my maiden name, not my married name, but I am waiting until our divorce is final before I change it officially.  The last name that I've chosen is Grace, and I didn't choose it; it chose me.  I am a mother, a deep lover of people and of God, a musician in my soul -which only successfully translates to reality about half the time - a writer, a voracious reader, a healer and a caregiver.  I was told once by someone in church that I have "healing hands" and that has stuck with me.  I believe my hands have the ability to calm, comfort, and pleasure (now don't get dirty thoughts in your head! I'm talking about therapeutic massage!), and that ability is part of what led me to nursing in the first place.  I am loyal.  I am loving.  I am a bit of a neat freak but also have the uncanny ability to completely ignore a towering pile of laundry for weeks.  I am strong.

I'm a paradox.  I'm an angel and a devil at the same time.  I long to do what's right and will go out of my way to avoid crossing someone`s lawn, yet there exists inside me a huge desire to buck authority (or sometimes - especially when I`m hormonal, hungry or tired - I`ll substitute an "f" for the "b" in that word!) and to be wild and unpredictable.  I have a tattoo and want more, but they have a lot of meaning to me and are not just a way of decorating my body.  I have a pierced nose and sometimes wish I had the nerve to pierce many more things.  One of my best friends is covered in tattoos and piercings and has wild hair and clothing, and I always like to say that she is on the outside what I am on the inside...but I would always be too worried about what people would say if I were to be that outwardly wild.  My mind wrestles with my desire to fit in, to wear the "proper" and "cool" clothes, and with my longing to express my creativity in crazy ways.
Sometimes I wish I was brave enough...but the kids would hate it...

Choke me in the shallow water before I get too deep.
What I am is what I am.
Are you what you are - or what?

Part of what I hope to accomplish with this blog and this year of reflection is to have the nerve to be who I really am, no matter what people would say about it.  It's a struggle I've had for years.  Two years ago, after Stringer and I broke up, I decided to do what I had wanted to do for a long time and cut off all my hair.  I wanted to see if I could pull it off.  Soon after, I got the nose piercing I always wanted.  I loved the way I looked with short, sassy hair and a diamond stud in my nose!  I felt like I was finally expressing myself, rather than keeping the long hair because someone else (read: A MAN) wanted it to stay long.  I ended up missing my long hair, so I've grown it back (and wow, is it ever healthy now that it had its chance to start from scratch; this hair has never been touched by chemical colors or straighteners, and I love it) but I recognize that I could chop it all off any time if I wanted.  No one can tell me how to wear my hair!

I am heading toward forty (thirty-eight on my next birthday) and don't feel it in any way (except on those long days when I`ve had school, then work, then not enough sleep...).  I feel like I`ve gotten stuck around twenty-five, except now I`m the twenty-five that perhaps I should have been then.  It`s almost unfair that maturation has to happen by growing old!  I`ve worked through all kinds of difficulties in my life and come out into the light.  I was flighty; I was "crazy"; I was emotional; I was not a good wife nor a good friend in too many terrible ways; I was unsettled and had no direction.  But I have overcome those tendencies and am working toward a much better ending to my story.

I walked out of my marriage six and a half years ago with nothing and rebuilt my life.  I've done everything I could for my children, made the decisions toward a better career and stuck with it, taught myself control and discipline - oh, except with money...yikes - and become a better parent.  I've learned how to be a good partner and still be true to myself, and I recognize that what others have to say about me does not matter as much as what God sees in me and what He has brought me to see in myself.  I have value; I have lots to offer; I am a good person.  These are things every person should see in themselves.  They are things I did not believe about myself, but things I have learned the hard way. 

I'm not aware of too many things,
But I know what I know if you know what I mean.
Philosophy is a walk on the slippery rocks.
Religion is a light in the fog.

I am an actress, a singer, a performer.  I want to make people feel.  I want to have an effect on the world in whatever positive way I can.  I love pregnancy, babies and children.  If I could be pregnant again, I would be overjoyed and thrilled to do so, but I have to be content with living vicariously through others - hence working toward becoming a Labor & Delivery nurse.  I am a doula and that has been an amazing experience.

So, so very precious..
I am a nurse.  Although I have four years of schooling ahead of me, I've been working toward it for the past four years...once I realized how fiercely I wanted it.  I had to upgrade grade 11 Math and Chemistry as well as grade 12 Biology, and this girl who once hated anything to do with the sciences ended up getting As in all three of those classes.  I work in healthcare and those who I care for receive all of my empathy and skill.  As I learn, as I practice, my skill set grows.  

I'm not aware of too many things,
But I know what I know if you know what I mean.
Choke me in the shallow water before I get too deep.
What I am is what I am.
Are you what you are - or what?

I am proud to have come through what I did.  I am who I am, and I like that person.

What a nice thing to be able to say.


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post--and I could really use one of your backrubs about now!

    I'm so happy to see how you're growing into yourself this year. Love you.