― Kurt Vonnegut
"It is in the not-knowing that I am freed of all my limitations."
I had the opportunity to be in a conversation with a wise woman this evening. She asked me what I did, and I replied, "Well, I don't really know. I feel like I am on a journey of constantly redefining myself and finding my way along the path. I feel that by the time I am an authority on anything, I have moved on to break free and find the next thing." She told me that she thought that was a very good place to be. "I hope so!" I replied.
Having grown up in a home that was emotionally unpredictable, I developed two habits. The first was a reaction to my home life: Try to get grounded and decide who you are by making strict rules that you have control over. The second feels almost genetically programmed: Break the mold and reinvent yourself. Become the chaos. Be the change!
The lack of safety that I felt as a little girl with risk-taking and emotionally turbulent parents lead me to a most unnatural set of "shoulds". As many of my dear friends say: "Don't should on yourself." Currently, I am methodically shedding the layers, traveling backwards in time, reliving and revisiting my history to experience my circumstance from a new vantage point. This idea that I am an authority figure on yoga is surprising to me, because this is a practice that was handed to me as a child and now has me working in reverse. Since yoga and fitness was the family "religion", I feel myself moving backwards in time to reckon with it in a new way, and hopefully reinvent myself entirely. I hope to continue this trend of traveling backwards until I trade in my yoga mat for a set of paints and imaginary games. All the way back to simply being excited to see a butterfly.
The image of the butterfly is a perfect one for me. The caterpillar going into hiding in the cocoon for a while looks nothing like the ethereal butterfly it will become. Be the change! I remain open-hearted and open-minded. I do not know the outcome of my natural state of being in the "I don't know." I may wake up one day and notice that my body feels like inverting, and my retreat from headstand could come to an end.
I am getting more comfortable being in the space of not knowing. I did not know what would happen when I stopped teaching for a boss. I did not know if I would be successful with one-on-one students. I did not know how to author a book. I did not know how to do any of this. And I do not know what comes next.
What I am beginning to see is that what once made me feel unsafe: risk-taking and emotional turbulence, today gets me exited to watch my wings grow on my way down. Today I am excited to reinvent myself, because I don't really know who I am.
Ah to be free.