Monday, December 27, 2004

Swimming in Stinky Water

Not long ago, I was leafing through a book given to me when I was a young teen, and I found this quote:

“A better phrase than “know who you are” is the phrase, “be in conversation with your identity.” This way you are always becoming, always evaluating, rather than searching for an absolute and irrevocable identity.” -- Temp Sparkman, Leadership Roles for Youth

That quote is as apt for me today at ** as it was for me at fifteen. I hope to continue conversing with my identity, always becoming, always evaluating. I do not want to be choked by the chains of an “absolute and irrevocable identity”, for that is the state where all growth stops, where you find yourself swimming in water as stagnant and stinky as the water in a neglected goldfish bowl.

I don’t know why growth happens, or why, when faced with a challenge, some of us will clean our goldfish bowls, while others continue to swim in darkened circles. I know I did not consciously choose to grow. I know I swam aimlessly for a long while. I don’t know exactly when the water started getting clearer, don’t know when I started waving to the other little fishies I saw out there in the big world, don’t know when I got dumped into the big tank that is slowly becoming a new life.

One thing I am pleased to discover is that although I spent much time immersed in stinky waters, I myself am not stinky. This is an important thing to remember when surrounded by the refuse of our own bad habits.

Another, more unseemly reminder for me would be not to constipate myself in order to keep my water clean. I have a habit of keeping quiet and denying my own instincts, thinking that is what good little fishies, I mean, girls, do. I am learning that there is a balance to the system that surrounds me. Into each fish bowl, a little poo must fall. It’s up to us how we handle the stinky stuff, hold it in and be constipated, or let it out, and clean it up.

I apologize for my own rough edges on writing about it here. Blogs have to change and grow too, and there is no other way than to just get in here and write, and hope something will resonate with someone, if no one other than my own self. Blogs, like life, aren’t always neat and clean. All I know to do is to let the thing grow and evolve. As in life, I can’t sprout full-grown into blogland, it just ain’t natural!

One of my favorite blogsters, Lorianne, at HoardedOrdinaries, wrote that “A blog doesn't have to be good to be engaging; it simply has to be true”. I do not think I have arrived yet at being true, I am still too aware of the constraints of that old absolute and irrevocable identity. It’s hard work, being true, and sometimes, downright embarrassing. It can also be uncomfortable, but it brings its own rewards, and is well worth the effort, I believe.

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