Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A human being

Finding her here

I am becoming the woman I've wanted,
grey at the temples,
soft body, delighted,
cracked up by life
with a laugh that's known bitter
but, past it, got better,
knows she's a survivor-
that whatever comes,
she can outlast it.
I am becoming a deep
weathered basket.

I am becoming the woman I've longed for,
the motherly lover
with arms strong and tender,
the growing daughter
who blushes surprises.
I am becoming full moons
and sunrises.

I find her becoming,
this woman I've wanted,
who knows she'll encompass,
who knows she's sufficient,
knows where she's going
and travels with passion.
Who remembers she's precious,
but knows she's not scarce-
who knows she is plenty,
plenty to share.
-          Jayne Relaford Brown

I was chatting with a friend yesterday who has just discovered she is an underachieving, lazy loser and is elated, thrilled with this realization. It gives her drive, and purpose, and a starting point from which to carve out the next stage of her life. She is not alone. The reason why her realization struck a chord with me is that I am also awakening to this new level of self knowledge. I can’t tell you how many exclamation marks and “omg, me 2s!” were used in the duration of our lengthy IM session. We spoke about the fact that we are hard to please and often find ourselves dissatisfied with where we are in life no matter how well we seem to be doing on the surface of things.
It seems we have arrived at a stage where we need to have clearly defined values that we actually, genuinely live by. Take for example integrity. It is easy to tell oneself that one believes in integrity; by generally living unobtrusive lives that do not deliberately negatively impact someone else we often delude ourselves into thinking that we have this commonly cited human value. I can tell you right off the bat that after having Googled the definition of integrity I am confident now that I am way off the mark. I have been functioning using a map that was great for navigating through adolescence but can only leave me poorly equipped for adult life.
So here we are. I need a new map, a new set of rules. This is what growing up is all about: having a clear definition of who you want to be and then striving to ensure that she comes into being. It’s a process that requires self leadership and a spirit that is malleable and willing to change. Applying my mind to the issue of my values and the things I want to do, that are in line with my values, for example career wise,  I re-read an amazing book I bought a couple of years ago called Wide Awake by Erwin Raphael McManus. He says
Life is not a color-within-the-lines project;
life is a work of art.
You have to keep mixing colors,
creating new blends,
and seeing things in fresh ways.
You must be willing
to get paint
all over you.
Life is about growth. Growth
demands change. Change
Requires humility.
Sometimes you need to bring change;
sometimes you need to be changed.
(Wide Awake, McManus. 2008)

The poem by Jayne Relaford Brown is an affirmation of the process I seem to be undergoing. Looking back at the trajectory of my life thus far I am encouraged and challenged to be more, to be better, to throw fear to the wind and tenaciously evolve towards becoming what I hope will prove to be indeed, the woman I’ve wanted. I am up for it and I love it!