Like an onion, we all have multiple layers, but, unlike an onion, as I peel off the old layers of myself, and uncover the new ones, I’m beginning to think that there is no end to what I will discover.
For someone that thrives on connection with others, this has been an interesting time for me. The pandemic is real, I am respectfully and wisely taking all possible precautions so I don’t contract or spread COVID-19, and/or overwhelm our front line workers and health care system by getting sick.
Like so many I have found ways to connect safely, through Zoom, Facetime, etc., and now that the weather is nicer where I live, through physically distancing in small groups outdoors.
There have been so many phases to this period of time: fear, grief, denial, anger, and slowly-acceptance. For me, the acceptance has been that I am in this for the long haul, and there are few things to aid as a salve or a distraction from the situation or from looking inward. I’ve noticed that acceptance has led to the next phase: growth.
What I’ve come to realize is that my growth and personal discovery began a few years ago in fits and starts, but it has been during the last few months that I’ve peeled off a few more layers and gotten more comfortable with the solitude that I’ve been experiencing. Over the years, I’ve retired, altered my diet (plant-based and limited sugar), minimized my life, downsized my home, let my natural hair color grow in (it’s gray :)), meditated regularly, and most recently, I’ve become alcohol free, and have done away with my morning coffee since it was upsetting my stomach.
I’ve eliminated many things that were used as a distraction from finding out who I really am and gravitated towards what made me feel more present. The most recent distraction, the drive to constantly be around other people, nearly eliminated by the current circumstances, may yield the most growth. Not sure why that drive is so deep. It may be a need for external validation or just the simple fact that I’m the youngest of four children from a fairly large family. I went to a local college as a commuter. I was rarely alone as a child and married at a young age, moving out of my parent’s house and in with my husband. Being alone has always made me feel unsettled.
With the current health crisis, I’m more alone than I’ve ever been in my entire life! I’m getting used to it and discovering that it’s OK and that it’s in the solitude and stillness that the most personal growth can occur. After all, who I am is really about who I think I am, and has nothing to do with who others perceive me to be.
WHO AM I? I’m not too sure, but I intend to find out!
Who are you?
As always, thanks for reading and please feel free to share and comment.