Once upon a time, I was a runner. I rose each morning filled with thoughts of what my workout commitment was and how everything else fit around that. Work, child care, housekeeping and all the rest were all set up to insure that my running time was secured. I was focused on achievement and I experienced, for my standards, reasonable success. When it came time to shed this blanket identity, I struggled to find a replacement. When I could no longer call myself a runner, I felt somewhat adrift. For a while I became a seeker without a title.
I discovered new interests. I invested in education, became a frequent-flyer at personality seminars and coaching workshops. Within a few years, I arrived a new identity: coach.
*Reached this point in the post, looking for a possible exit*
*Blah, blah, blah, coaching… passionate…blah, blah…*
Part of me hates telling these kinds of stories: I did this, learned that and became this. Introduction, build-up, (there’s rarely a climax), and resolution. The stories make a circuitous path seem like a neat and straight trajectory. Such stories are so incomplete and flattened that they undermine whatever truth remains in them.
*Decides to continue with flawed narrative format anyway.*
The reason I started all this was actually to make sense of where I am now: conflicted, overwhelmed, strung out on identity finding, making, affirming, doing. Without question this inner dialogue turned outward, made public for consumption by strangers, friends and loved ones has a lot to do with it. Since I have chosen a path in social media, in the blogosphere, that has consequences; benefits and costs which I continually weigh.
Sorting myself, my thoughts, my identities in public is a choice that is fraught, fraught, fraught. Knowing that feels like a win, though. So cognizant of this tension between being and performing, telling and dramatizing; seeking and shunning attention at the same time, I’m writing to say, I am tired and I’m still here.
Because while I arrived here (online) as an educator, coach and former runner, what I’ve become is a writer who sometimes struggles to live up to the all the other pieces of me that ultimately are on display. I go to sleep thinking about the read and unread, the writing completed and the writing ahead. I wake up with new ideas and old ones. I walk through my day immersed in composition of one kind or another, forming images that beg to be recorded but for which there are not enough hours in the day. My day is awash in words I want to use and bend to my will.
For now I have stopped denying myself the mantle of writer. Perhaps that will offer some relief. My privilege in this respect stretches far. I can do and be many things at once and few will contest my claims.
(Many, many thanks to @hypervisible for introducing me to my new favorite GIF which I plan to use as often as possible, even incorrectly.)
2 thoughts on “*Cough, cough* Is this mic on?”
Thanks for sharing this. I was fascinated to read about the weight of your choice to be visible in social media. This is not a choice I have made (yet?), and I find myself quite nervous about the potential consequences of being so visible. You articulate them well. On the other hand, there are consequences to *not* being visible, and I know those, too. For now, as I bumble along, I am grateful to those who can share openly about the decisions they have made. So, thanks.
This sounded like a poem when I read it- I had to go back to reread: I go to sleep thinking about the read and unread, the writing completed and the writing ahead. I wake up with new ideas and old ones. I walk through my day immersed in composition of one kind or another, forming images that beg to be recorded but for which there are not enough hours in the day. My day is awash in words I want to use and bend to my will.