For as long as I can remember, I’ve had about 30 different identities, called “alter-egos,” operating in my life at any given moment.
For as long as I can remember, there’s been the wife me, the good mom me, the bad mom me, the maxi skirt wearing bohemian version of me, the writer me, the student me, the “I really can dance” me, the “I don’t like to dance me, the reality tv show watcher me, the professional me, the “i can wear a navy suit” me, the “I don’t take myself too serious” me, the “I’m very serious me, the gym rat me, the “I don’t care that I can’t fit my old jeans” me, the vegan me, the burger and fries me, the “I have curly hair me,” the “I have straight hair me,” the “I don’t show my hair at all” me.
There’s been the comedian me, the straight-faced me, the eccentric me, the conventional me, the American me, the cosmopolitan me, the minivan driving me, the suv driving me, the independent me, the dependent me, the Amel Larrieux listening me, the sexy me, the modest me, the “I’m so into Bjork” and Blondie on auto-repeat me, the hip hop me,the 80s pop me, the crunchy mom me, the judgmental mom me, the drive through chicken nuggets and fries mom me, the passionate me, the angry me, the innocent me, the kind me, the super sensitive me, the materialistic me, the minimalist me, the happy me, the sad me, the introspective me, the superficial me, the authentic me, the honest me, the political correct me, the blogger me, the actress me, the singer me, the “this is just me” me, the “who the heck am I?” me, the dominant me, the submissive me…and the list goes on and on.
These parts of myself, I long assumed, were fragmented. They weren’t really me, just a part of me at any given time in my life, right? Just phases of me leading to the “real” me. As such, these phases like Fall leaves, would only be relevant for a season and then they would, inevitably, die. And with their death, I’d become someone new.
Becoming someone new is, after all, the point of growing up, right?
Before this month, I would have said “yes.” But now, after only 15 days of my Courage 365 project, I say “no.” The point of growing is to learn how to incorporate them all as one big gushy, complex version of…you.
I used to think that courage was that thing that made people do super-human things like jump off buildings or swim with sharks. But, and if you look at my Tumblr, my courage looks nothing like that. Joining the gym, cleaning out your closet, saying I’m sorry…are these courageous acts? For me, yes. Courage is what happens when you decide to be the best version of…yourself.
Courage is what happens when you act from your heart rather than fear.
So rather than my project being about becoming someone else, I’m learning that it’s really about becoming courageous enough to be myself. Like really myself, all of myself, like the blogger, 80’s pop, spiritual junkie, cookie baking me.
So, yes, that’s what I’ve learned thus far. In case you’re interested in my daily acts, find me on Tumblr.
How do you define courage? How would you define yourself?
Oh, and I’ve got a post up on Vista Imaging Group about “shutterspeed.” If you’re interested in moving into Manual mode and taking even more creative control over your images, then come stop by for today’s post!