I was becoming who I am - from the beginning.
I continue to walk into today aware of the fact that I am continuing to become nothing more or nothing less than I am. Yet, between now and then - today and tomorrow - it never ceases to be a mystery as to who I will become.
I’ve heard people say that when you ‘get up in years’ - people cease to become new - people stop growing - people cannot change - people are set in their ways. Unfortunately, it appears as though people often grasp onto that which was and let go or abandon that which might just be - whimsical wonder - amazing openness - dynamic participation - utter transformation. It is my hope that as I approach death, which, I suppose, is every moment of my life, I will be aware of how I am becoming who I am.
Becoming who I am is not a self-centered or self absorbed production. I find that the voices and actions of others often creates a ripple or a wave - even a tsunami - that has the power to turn me around. It may even mean that right becomes left - up becomes down - the world as I have constructed it becomes the world I now work to deconstruct.
Becoming turned around is not easy for me. I’m slow to move in a new direction even when I am overwhelmed with a new vision of how life can be - even as that which is new shakes me to my core and seems to fuss with my essence - my soul - my humanity. Becoming who I am has become for me an adventure that pulls me more and more into the wonder of what it is to be truly human - not merely me - to be human - connected to all and being for all. Therefore, community is essential to who I am.
Becoming truly human is frightening. Maybe that is why I go at it so slowly - with great hesitation - selectively taking steps. Having said that, I know that self-preservation often becomes a powerful stumbling block. Rather than being able to step into that which could be, I take steps backward either into that which was or that which goes along within a self-preserving life. Even though I may appear to be growing and expanding my life, if I am seduced by my fears - I am not becoming who I am. I am becoming the person the world around me is selling. Though I have opportunities to become a unique person, I know I become a consumer of that which has already been branded as how one must be. It is so hard to become me in the midst of all the suggestions that I become something else. I call them suggestions because I pick them - I am not forced into them. It is then that I must face the anxiety of becoming the one and only me - not a me constructed by others. It can be frightening to be contrary to that which is acceptable - be considered odd - out of step - abandoned - because of the choices I may make as I look into the story of how one becomes truly human. Thus, the face of the truly human in me is pushed off into another place and time. Fear has a way of directing me away from simply becoming me.
I say all this because I am longing to become a none. This is not a journey that will take me to a place of detachment from the life around me. This is not a journey in which I will turn my back on the roads I have walked thus far and the people with whom I have walked. This is not a renunciation as much as it must be a pathway of affirmation. I want to be more intentional about who I am becoming. Yes, even at an age in which one may be expected to stabilize or settle down - I want to have none of that. I want to boldly experiment with who I am in the face of death and at the brink of new life. For me that means there must be an examination of all the boxes in which I put myself and those boxes into which I allow others to put me.
Becoming a none may mean I continue walking along the pathways I have let myself travel. It also means there will be those times when I must say with great intentionality - I’ll have none of this anymore. One task at this point will be to face and resist drifting into a void - a life with no substance or meaning. I cannot drift into those unbreakable patterns of life that limit life. Nor can I merely refute all things as though nothing fits me anymore. I see too many people whose lives simply roll along with what has been - as though there is nothing left to become.
Becoming is full of the energy of creation. It wrestles with chaos. It wrestles with choices that seem to be overwhelming. It wrestles with that which just happened - that which seemed too dangerous or traumatic to face. And yet, as we look back at that which attempted to pin us down, even though we may be wounded or broken or discouraged, the trauma through which we have traveled may hand us the proof that there just might be something more to come. So, we can stand up - walk through the limp - jump over the obstructions - face today as though nothing can separate us from the power to become who we are and will be.
Some might say I’m on a spiritual journey - that I’m becoming spiritual and not religious. I don’t talk like that - that is not my language and it doesn’t fit me at all. I am simply becoming human - becoming the me that never comes to an end and always imagines the beginning. Sure I’m older and keep wondering who I would be today if I had lived a different life up to this point. That, I would submit, is a foolish game. I am becoming me - by way of the journey that I chose to take. Any other path would not have me in this place at this time - ready to continue on the way. So this may all be the alpha and omega of me. Ah, the mystery continues.