Being myself does not mean being my ideal self.

I imagine this self who floats through clouds, positively radiating, a sun on the earth, bringing light to all, with no edges or harshness or buzzing of fear. Then others (then I!) might be amazed. A final point in the transformation. I’m here, I’ve arrived.


It must be more like an unfolding in any given moment. Earthier than that; my hands are dry and flaky, and I have a swell of mosquito bites from a campfire evening, and I’m reading Four Thousand Weeks but felt compelled to set it aside to capture this idea, after waking A up by casually saying he was late for his meeting, and then laughing and saying, “this is the dream of the 90s,” and him replying with a mini eye roll, “that phrase again.”

We talked long at the coffee shop yesterday; equal parts therapy and philosophy. I went to the coffee shop to work, but our discussion was worth more. The dream of the 90s! Yes! Trying to tell him, it’s all a feeling. But not a happy or sad kind of feeling. Yourself. The feeling of yourself having an experience. Not intellectually sinking into the moment, but connecting to the heartbeat thrum of the great ether. And now we’re both tired on a Monday morning, after a string of late nights and a casual attitude toward time.

It is much harder to remember this feeling when my child is here. This naturalness. My frown returns, it feels like a drag, my day is a caretaking slog. It’s not that bad, and she is so lovely, but being myself and being a parent are two bubbles that I’m not sure how to merge. Perhaps I am most deeply plagued by the ghost of my ideal self in parenthood, and every second I fall short.

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