At the end of this journey the prompts are asking me to think about my core story. The truth of who I am and where it is leading me. I feel so unequipped to answer this question, because I haven't finished all the prompts, but I will try to answer it now and we'll see if in the end it is the story changes, or just my perception.
“It is not the spoon that bends. It is only yourself.”
Maybe one of the most important things I've learned along this journey is that whether I feel like it or not, when I show up and tap in, there's almost always something there, either to write about or even just to learn about myself.
But at the same time, when I try too hard, it just doesn't work. The first two weeks or so of the writing challenge I was barely trying at all. I had nothing, and nothing to lose, so I just relaxed and let it flow. It was delightful and easy to write from my heart in that place, but when I started really thinking about things I got stuck again.
I tend talk myself out of all my good ideas.
You know how when you take a test they tell you that if you're not quite sure about an answer, go with your first gut instinct? Well, I keep second guessing myself and ending up wrong.
Take this particular post, which I have been trying to write for four days. Six different drafts and I wasn't happy with any of them. All of them just a little bit off. All of them trying too hard.
“Do not try to bend the spoon. That's impossible.”
It feels like I've spent so many years trying to bend my life and even my writing to fit other peoples' versions of what it should be. I guess that's what finding your voice is all about. When we don't really know what we want and we see other people who seem happy, content, successful, _________, we want their lives. So we pay them the highest possible compliment: We imitate. We try to do what they do, read what they read, love what they love.
But none of that helps us to become who we're supposed to be. It only provides a temporary shelter from the uncertain pain of becoming.
“Instead only try to realize the truth…”
The truth is, my life has been a series of bends and breaks. Impossible tasks. Insurmountable odds. Victories. Defeats. Colossal screw ups. Unfathomable joys. Some things I have wanted to bend to my way of thinking. My view from my side of the pain. But the truth is:
“There is no spoon.”
The above quote, from Deepak Chopra, challenges our perception of the importance of our reality. But maybe it really is all just a Matrix of Interstellar-like parallel universes colliding from time to time with our thoughts, images, and sensations. Or more simply, as Dumbledore once told Harry:
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
Reality bends and billows, warping our perceptions and evaporating time into a distant mist. A hybrid past, an uncertain future… The truth of who I am – my core story – is a complex maze of twists and turns that even the most astute reader could not have predicted, or so it would seem. But that doesn't mean it wasn't real. At least, I think it was real.
It definitely happened inside my head.