Passport, social security card, birth certificate, name, identity. Without this forced documentation, I could be….. anyone. I could decide tomorrow, to be someone else. I could simply, change my mind. Different name, different home, different life. Without the paper trail (and lose associations with friends and family lol) I would be free. Free to discard the identity I was born into and walk away from the rest that I chose to create. Free to be a completely different person. I could look differently. Change my beliefs. Live some other kind of life. I could pop up in another country. Create an entirely different idea of who I have always thought myself to be. I could be …… anyone I chose to be.
The words “You can do anything and be whoever you want to be” have never meant much to me. As a matter of fact, they have irritated me. I think we all sense our limitations. I can’t be a Navy SEAL. Despite how much my husband insists I could. His physical superiority and single-minded focus prevent him from being objective about anyone else’s abilities. Nor could I be a Quantum Physicist. I’m not smart enough to even spell that. Thank you spellcheck. Yes, I know “anyone can learn anything if they work hard enough at it.” But can we really? Aren’t some people just naturally smarter? No one would argue that I don’t have the vocal cords to be a singer or a quick enough brain response to be a world-class motorcycle racer. (That one pisses me off!). So then why are we constantly told we can be anything? Yes, there are many things I could be if I gave it enough dedication and time. But, most things, I simply am not capable of. I’m ok with that. (except for the motorcycle thing!) I accept that people are built and wired differently.
But what about the science that all we are is energy? I believe in this science. Quantum physics says I should be able to walk through a wall. That I am just energy and we can literally think particles into different places. So if that is true, I should be able to be anything I want or get anything I want. Hell, I’m not even solid matter, really. I’m kind of an illusion. So is it my genetics, life circumstance, and history that determine who I am? Or is it in fact truly possible to be anyone you want to be?
I think that maybe they meant something different when they told us all that. I think they didn’t mean that we could LITERALLY and PHYSICALLY be anything. But that we could be anything we wanted from an energetic standpoint. That because we are all energy and we are all connected and we are ‘all one’ then we can simply FEEL what it feels like to be someone or something else but maybe not necessarily see it. So when I look at the aspen tree in my front yard, and I can feel that tree, I am in essence…..that tree. When I watch that bird flying and I can remember the feeling of flying from dreams I had, that I actually DO know what it feels like to fly. That when I sit with someone I care about and I FEEL their emotions and pain with them, I am in fact feeling them and what it is like to BE them. This makes sense to me because it’s something I feel all the time.
And so it makes me wonder about this person I think I am. Not just the outside of me. The internal me as well. The wounds I believe I have. The insecurities. The hangups. All of this, it occurs to me, in addition to the identity I have chosen, is something I have DECIDED to make my identity. I mean, couldn’t I change my mind about that too?
It’s obvious I don’t have to do the job I do. I don’t have to live where I live. I don’t have to stay in the relationship I am in. I don’t really even have to keep the friends and family I have. I could change my mind about at any moment about ANYTHING. If I didn’t have to show my ID everywhere, I could go anywhere and be anyone. Teri Lynn could cease to exist.
I don’t want a different life or a different identity (most days). But, there are some things about who I have decided I am that I would be ecstatic to change my mind about.
Do I have to keep being the ‘insecure’ Teri Lynn that worries no one will like her? Must I continue to carry around the self-appointed label of “irresponsible with money” because of mistakes I made 30 years ago? Am I forever the ‘ungrateful daughter” who “doesn’t value family” because she distanced herself from her toxic family members? Do I have to decide each and every day that my body is not good enough based on what I think it SHOULD look like? Do I have to hold onto the belief that I do not work hard enough and therefore will never be financially secure? Can I change my mind about those things too?
Even deeper: Are we one thing or another or is it possible that we can be both simultaneously? There are parts of me that are secure AND insecure. Responsible AND irresponsible. Isolationist AND also deeply connected. Which parts are me are true? If I have been athletic and incredibly fit as well as fat and out of shape….which one am I? If I have been rich as well as poor several times over am I irresponsible with money or able to make it easily? Do I not value family or am I just emotionally evolved and healthy? If some days I feel beautiful and others I feel horribly ugly, what am I? Could it simply be that in any given moment I am what I decide to feel and be?
Part of my soul yearns to be a Buddhist monk in the hills of Bhutan. I also fantasize about being a boxer and knocking the shit out of people to earn my living. I love my boat and teaching people to ski and surf would be a dream life. So would living in the mountains somewhere, off the grid where all I HAVE to do is chop wood, drink coffee and hike in the forest all day. I dream of being a writer. With someone else on call to edit and correct cuz I absolutely HATE that part. Design is a passion. All of it. Be it home, graphic, textiles or textures. Some type of artist life where I create every day sounds blissful. And of course racing….racing is…well , indescribable bliss.
Am I none of this? Or, am I ALL of it? Because I swear….in moments…I can FEEL every single one of these things. I can feel the track drag under my knee, the textures of the fabrics I have chosen, the peace and bliss of a meditative state, the crack of a jaw under my glove. I can smell the trees and fresh cut wood around my mountain house and I laugh out loud when I am in my boat with all the women I have coached teaching them how to ski and surf as they erupt with joy and gratitude for all they have been through. These things FEEL real.
Maybe this is what they mean. That in any given moment you can simply BE anything. By feeling it. Imagining it. Isn’t this how anyone has ever become or done anything? By first feeling it? I think so. Could it be that we already ARE all of these things inside and the only thing keeping us from embodying it is our own mind? I think so.
Pardon me while a step outside to observe the trees and birds and be a monk for a moment.