Well, here I am again, lost. Really lost. I'm sure I should be doing most of my writing privately, given the circumstances. But it's back to that "follow your gut," feeling, and something told me to come back here and give this another go.
I'm used to tying my identity to external things. I've always taken on something of the character and interests of the people I've dated, or of the friends I happen to be spending my time with. Being alone is uncomfortable for me. I don't mean being alone in the sense of "not having people around." I try not to do that too much, but even I need some time without people. By being alone, I mean not being in a romantic relationship, not identifying with a group of friends, not belonging to a religious group or a tribe.
I was raised in a very large family and I was raised as part of a very large church. I grew up in South Texas, where football is a religion and religion is more than fundamental. I've always felt an affinity for fundamentalists of every stripe, though I mostly feel compassion and pity for those who don't have a choice about it. Yet, as a long-time atheist I still have an odd kind of respect for those who believe they have the answers to life's difficulties. Don't I wish I could just grasp on to one of those ready-made solutions and fly with it?
By the way, if this blog seems increasingly selfish or self-centered, it's not coincidental. Too much of my past dishonesties have been in the misguided attempt to save or help other people. If I can't cope with my own mysteries, how am I ever to help you out? If reading my extroverted introspection does anything for you, then by all means, continue reading. Otherwise? You know where the exit sign is.
I'm not calling myself an atheist these days. Agnostic comes closer. You don't make a decision to go on a journey based on nothing but passion and interest and instinct and then have the gall to declare that nothing metaphysical exists. I have and have had parallel tracks- belief and unbelief. But it's still complicated.
That said, I'm having a hell of a time with morality these days, and more of a problem of identity. Who the hell am I? I feel increasingly that I am completely out of touch with the people, the things, the ideas, that I most cherish and love. I've become a collection of roles, most of which I was playing out to please other people and keep my network intact. As if it were my job to protect everyone around me from the truth, for fear they might all fall apart. The good daughter, the good wife, the caring mom, the productive employee, and so on and on. And more of my time was being sucked away by pretending to be a lot of things that I thought would make me happy.
Now, I don't know. Everyone has a different answer for me. I came away from the World Domination Summit with a great, glowing hope. I was determined to find the way through. I am determined. So I'm here, and I'm certainly not giving up.
But who am I, when I don't define myself by my relationships? What do I really love? What will I make, contribute, teach? Where will I go? What do I want to look like?
Most of all, how can I be good? Where does personal responsibility lie? I have children I need to feed. Should I take another soul-sucking, dead end job? That way lies madness. But keep living off of the kindness of family and friends? More insanity.
So do I believe in myself enough to make a go of something entirely different? (Everyone from #wds is screaming YES, right about now...)
Can people change? Can I heal from the past, get stronger, and go on to do something extraordinary? I wish I knew the way forward. Very much so.