Thursday, January 8, 2009

longing for something like home

I'm not quite who I want to be. 

Ultimately, that's a good thing. If my becoming were complete, then there would be no more being. So, as long as I am not quite who I want to be, I continue to be. And as long as I work toward realizing—and continue to refine—that vision of who I want to be, I continue to become.

The problem with the discrepancy between who you are and who you want to be is that, for the most part, people don't see who you want to be. They don't see who you are becoming. They see only who you are. 

To complicate things further, other people's conceptions of who you are differ both from your own and from one another. Each person whose path crosses yours, defines you (whether consciously or not) in terms of any of an infinite number of combinations of names and images, spoken words and written correspondence, facial expressions and physical movements, diplomas and categorical labels, achievements and failures, moments of laughter and silences—all things which are perceived externally and empirically.

So how to get them to see that vital part of who you are which is who you are becoming, the you that you want to be but that has not yet breached the surface? How to get them to see that you need them in order to become who you want to be? That you need them to believe in you because you don't always believe in yourself?

An acquaintance, whom I admire immensely, provides a moment of light: "do what your passions demand of you, and keep your eyes open to the people that you'll see around you." In them you will find the people who can see who you are becoming, the muses who inspire you with who they are becoming, the friends who believe in you and encourage the you that you want to be.

It is easy to get impatient and try to go about it the other way around, only to run into a wall, become frustrated and disillusioned, and then to pick yourself up again and move along okay until you hit another wall. And then, insight from a smoother traveler, and you see that you've been trying to do things backwards. You see why we need each other?

Today I am longing for something like home, but home to me is little more than an abstraction. Today home is a dream of a magical and brilliant place where I am becoming who I want and need to be, where I learn and play with friends of mutual understanding and inspiration.

Today I am too physically and emotionally exhausted to do much in the way of building that home, or even selecting the site. Today I long only to be in a frail substitute for home: in bed, snug under the covers, warm and toasty in my apartment where the overactive radiator is getting its way no matter what the settings on the knob say. It's stubborn, but at least it's comforting.


Tres Jolie Julie said...

Lovely thoughts here. It reminded me of a post I read recently on Ashley Sanders' Project Deseret, especially the last four paragraphs, which link friendship with good reading: Aside from the George Dardess quote, the most resonant part for me was: "Can anyone, even in scripture, give a proper accounting of another person, or even their own ecstasy? Is friendship a fumbling through the noise of history and fallibility to find a person inside all of it, noising back? Is learning how to read the scriptures or write an honest history the same as being saved? As saving others? Are we saved, not in the content of our reading, but in learning how to read-how to approach the fundamental mystery of another?"

Claire said...

don't forget the hot chocolate. hot chocolate always helps.

you will always have a home wherever I am :)

skylark said...

Thanks, Julie, for tipping me off to Project Deseret. That post was wonderful. I'm sure I didn't understand all of it, but it was wonderful.

Thanks, Claire, for both comments. I'm coming to Canada soon.