Humans are complex creatures. We are so much more than what we do. We have dreams, ambitions, needs, wants, desires, cravings, thoughts, feelings, emotions, opinions, demons, and deviances. We have vices. We are passionate, forgetful, creative, curious, sensitive and serious. We are multi-faceted. We have an incalculable number of dimensions. We are body and soul. Mind and body. Heart and brain. Feeling and thinking. Deciding and diverging. We’re rebellious and obedient. We have immeasurable depth. We are capable of understanding, of comprehension. There are galaxies in our eyes, and parallel universes in our brains. We are infinite.
Have you ever met someone with eternity in their smile? Y’know, the person who looks at you like you’re the only one in the room, eagerly intentional with all the sincerity in the world, as if time spent with you is the most important thing they’ve done all year. Every minute, every interaction was so full of purpose, lending meaning to the smallest gestures. Every minute felt like freedom, every hour was piercing clarity. I’ve met someone like that and let me tell you, it’s the most inspired I’ve felt in years. Watching him was like watching Jesus. Seeing the way that people lit up around him, the careful, joyful way he handled every interaction. He was alive. He was unapologetically, entirely, wonderfully, unwaveringly consumed in his identity, and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed. That’s when I realized how far I’ve wandered from my own identity. How long I’ve strayed from the woman I was made to be.
I’ve fallen prey to identity amnesia. I’ve all but completely forgotten who I am. I’ve gotten so wrapped up in neatly packaging myself to be agreeable, charming and unoffensive. I’ve spent so much time trying to soften my edges, and gloss over sadness. I was so scared of lying, offending or just generally misspeaking, that I stopped sharing. I didn’t want to be vain so I dressed down, I didn’t want to be narcissistic so I asked the questions. I was so focused on the needs of others that I forgot to take care of myself. I was so preoccupied trying to fit this mold society had so stealthily constructed for me, that I forgot I was alive.
Pretty soon, I didn’t recognize myself anymore, and I couldn’t remember my identity. But I had that feeling, of “I don’t know what to call it, but I’ll know it when I see it.” I wore other people’s identities like a poorly fitting Halloween costume in July. I felt conspicuous, I didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t really care who I became. So I changed my clothes, and I changed my hair, I wore anything and everything, under the guise of mystery. Unpredictable, even to myself. I felt like a little girl again, my whole world constantly shaking, moving, spinning, unstable. I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t know where I was when I woke up. I didn’t feel real, I was unqualified to own a body. I was lost, and sometimes I was fearful. But mainly I was untouchable. My heart was in hibernation and all I had left was impulse. I didn’t care what happened to me. I simply didn’t have anything left to give, I had lost all of my fucks.
I think God was still there. He’s always there, even when you can’t see Him, even when you’re not talking. That’s the thing about God, he doesn’t desert us. He loves us at our darkest, and He doesn’t hold it over our heads after.
I’m not going to tell you that I’m perfectly fitted back into my identity, that would be a lie. I wish I could tell you that, because now I remember the feeling of being free, of breathing fresh air, and laughing uncontrollably. I remember the feeling of spinning with my arms outspread in the pouring rain, of talking with my mouth full because I couldn’t wait another second to speak, I remember dancing on the cold sand, jumping fences and staying up all night with dear friends. I remember wholeness, and I crave it. There’s no road map to your identity. It’s not cut and dried, it’s not laid out for you. Most of us have to stumble in and out of it until we recognize it for what is and decide to hold on for dear life. Our identities are so precious, so unique, and so all-encompassing, there’s truly nothing like walking in yours.
I’m not completely lost anymore, I’m still stumbling through it, leaning on walls and sleeping on floors, but at least I’m on my way again. I’m beginning to see bits and pieces of me, like old friends come back to catch up, sometimes it feels like they never left. I’m seeing less and less of that tearful little girl living in an upside down world. I’m seeing more of that woman, who believes in her worth, who has a relationship with her Creator, who loves with all she has, and who lives uninhibited. I’m catching glimpses of that free spirit. I’m remembering that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.