Who am I?
It's a question I've asked and answered a lot over the years.
In silly magazine quizzes sent by well-meaning friends
In long, angst-ridden diary pages riddled with self doubt.
But it's a moot question because I am ever a work in progress, a moldable ethereal being that sometimes folds in on itself in guarded innocence and sometimes expands outward towards change and enlightenment.
I am sometimes nothing and more often times everything.
And that's because I have, from birth, defied labels.
I was supposed to be a boy. I wasn't…but some part of my dad never realized that.
I was supposed to be a quiet, subservient little girl because I was such a good girl. I wasn't. I followed the rules until they chained my spirit and then I fought like a caged lion.
I was supposed to be an awkward mouse because I was a “nerd”. But I wasn't. I wore clothes that broke the molds, make up that looked exactly like the models, and danced like rhythm had me, and not the other way around.
I was and always have been daring, well-spoken, fierce, loving, loyal, hard working, artistic, logic minded, soft-skinned, compassionate, strong, and prone to thumbing my nose at convention. I have always said that life is an illusion…social conventions made to be changed. You make the rules because there are no rules.
And I do this even when I am actively trying not to. And man, have I tried to change…long ago when I hated all that I was. I don't anymore.
Because that is me. Red hair. Sparkling, curiosity-filled eyes. Passion dripping from every single word…every single thoughtful gesture. A deliberate life. A beautiful life.
My son is just like me. Full of laughter, angst, humor, brilliance. He is all lights and darks and all the subtleties in between. He defies definition. My love for him defies words.
And it is through that love that I learned the truth. Because it was in that struggle in which, at first, I found myself trying to define him…that I ultimately looked in the mirror and let go of my own boxes. Saw myself as the truly wonderful whirlwind that I am. Cause I can't love him while continuing to hate his reflection. My face that stares back through his gorgeous, sparkling eyes.
God, he's beautiful. And so am I.
So someday, when he's busy shirking off the labels that less dynamic people will stick on him. When he's wondering if he's ok…I will tell him that I used to stop the car at lights, turn the music up and dance with wild abandon outside my car in front of everyone. That I have painted masterpieces. That I've written a novel. That I've traveled 1000 miles to help a friend steal back his cat. And all of these are just a fragment of a very crazy, mixed up, brilliant spirit that is his mother. The spirit I gave to him.
And then I will dare him to push it even further. Because he can. Because he will.
Because that's who I am.