So far

Lesley - Pennsauken, New Jersey
Entered on February 25, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I have been many different people in my 30 years. I’ve been the good student that every parent dreams of and the defiant teenager every parent dreads. I’ve been deeply religious and fervently secular. I’ve been both dependent and disgusted by alcohol. I’ve been a victim desperate to heal and a scoundrel in need of redemption. I have been the other woman and a woman scorned. I’ve been a complete head case and extremely level headed. I’ve been both estranged and close to my parents. I haven’t been afraid to test the waters and more importantly I haven’t been afraid to change.

Most people resist change like the plague not only in themselves but in others as well. There’s a sentiment of insincerity when it comes to change, as if you’re betraying yourself. I don’t buy that shit. It is my belief that we should always be evolving and challenging ourselves. The dictionary definition of insane is a person who continues doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result so in the literal sense a person who doesn’t change is insane. It’s not an easy thing to figure who your best self really is, you’re almost guaranteed to lose people along the way and there’s no doubt that you will be frustrated beyond belief because the temptation to remain in your comfort zone will be great because it’s so much easier but it’s well worth the struggle.

Through the tumult there have been and always will be constants. The things and people that have pushed, dragged and carried me all this way. My parents. When I stop and think about the love these two people have for me I am completely overwhelmed. When I hurt, they hurt just a little more. When I’m happy they actually breathe easier. I can’t imagine the joys and pain involved with love like that, maybe someday I will but for now I’m in complete awe and of course grateful. Music. Forever a part of my inner landscape, I wouldn’t want to know life without it. The butterflies you get when the house lights go down can compensate for the butterflies you wished you got from someone else. That beautiful noise that speaks to you when it seems no one else can. Literature. Give me poetry, novels, essays, non-fiction and I’ll devour them all! I want to feel it all. I want to know it all. Give me a story, any story that gives me perspective on something that may have never even entered my peripheral vision. Getting lost in someone else’s story is an easy way to escape whatever ails me even if for just a little while. I’ve learned to keep these three things/people close to me at all times.

The version of myself I inhabit today is the most beneficial to my soul. I’m still the same at the core but I’ve been able to strip away the static that makes clarity impossible. I’ve learned to ask hard questions of myself (an invaluable tool I took away from months of intense therapy) and that has made all the difference. I’ve dropped the habits (and in some cases people) that have always weighed me down and truth is what remains. I no longer have a desire to be liked by everyone and it’s this freedom that’s allowed me to be really honest about who I want to be. What I think, do and say are more in line than they’ve ever been and there is tranquility in that. I am myself above all else.

So far childhood was perfection, adolescence a tempest and young adulthood began with utter despair followed by excess and denial which finally gave way to peace.