“Today I had a conversation with my true self. She asked me why I had abandoned her, why I had ignored all her constant advice. And then she reminded me of all the things I had forgotten. And never once did she say, “I told you so.” 

– Monique Duval

 

I’ve spent a lot of time looking in the mirror lately: do I know who I am anymore? I lost little pieces of my self along the way to this place I’m at now. Actually, lost is the wrong word. Gave. I gave them away, willingly, hastily, in efforts to sustain this love, this life, I saw slipping away. And so I tried to be someone I wasn’t – a little more sophisticated, a little more domestic, a little more whatever-it-was-I-thought-he-was-looking-for – and in the process I gradually stopped being me. And so it is no wonder that we failed to connect any longer. It’s difficult to nurture an intimate relationship when one of the participants is essentially missing… It’s more difficult to crawl out of the wreckage and find a sturdy foothold with such a diluted sense of self.

I began finding my self again the same way I sent her off, in bits and pieces, stashed away in cardboard boxes. A half-written poem, an old beloved sweater, a forgotten photo I had cherished and taken off the wall. And suddenly, there she was, all sass and stubbornness and confidence, a chatty, dancing, jeans-and-t-shirt wearing me.

We are becoming one and the same again, growing more sturdy every day. It’s refreshing to feel like myself, invigorating just to be comfortable in my own skin again. And I have learned not to give her away, not to sacrifice the person who will always know me best, speak up for me loudest, hold on fiercely to my dreams and passions.

I am a dancer, a writer, a philosopher, a lover – eternally flawed and fallible, but, for better or worse, me.

 

Look in the mirror. Who are you? Are you living as your true self? Are you living your verb?

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