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“Beyond the rubble of who you are not, be who you are.”

~ Lazaris.

One of the interesting things about doing a move, a trip, a sojourn, is the fact that one can “re-invent” themselves around newly met individuals. It’s a precarious place ~ as there is then the implied intention that one is who they present themselves to be!  Whoa! 

This is more than playacting or intentional subterfuge. (In fact, it is neither!). It IS a conscious decision to leave some (a smidge … a bunch …. a lot…) of the ‘yuk’ of one’s history and drama where it belongs ~ in the past. Stepping into the version of ‘you’ that you have grown in to. 

I believe it was Marsha Sinetar (apologies for possibly misquoting the name ~ it was back in the 90s when I first read this) who had a great line in one of her books that spoke to the fact that, when introducing oneself to another, very shortly after name and possibly occupation, or a certain neighborhood of town, then… “we lead with our pathologies.”

“We” tend to expand the getting-you-to-know-me with labels that (unfortunately) have to do with some drama:  widow/widower, single parent, divorced …… and then the list can devolve downhill, depending on the response of the other person.  When there’s a “hey, I’m divorced too,”  or  “wow, I went through the tornado too,” a link is made (Oh goody; we’ve bonded!!) and further conversation ensues. A bond of semi-common ground, based on pathology ~ the ‘what’s wrong.’ The rubble of the past.

At that point a picture is painted in the Mind of Other of ‘who’ you are;  the items you’ve given voice to are then repeated by the Other to other Others whom you may also meet down this new road. Interesting conundrum. (Heaven knows, ‘we’ all love our stories, and that includes gossip.) Therefore, they see your ‘Then,’ not your Now.

Imagine what would happen if one introduced themselves and threw out the tidbit that they were … a Rhodes Scholar. Walked the Camino de Santiago. Or …they had gone tandem free-fall skydiving. Or loved traveling to far away places. Were … an Artist. Considered themselves a Writer. Other ‘someones’ may find this a piece of fascinating information that could take the conversations into higher-levels of joy, curiosity, and even intrigue.  

{Hold on to the proverbial hat, because there are those who will think thoughts of Braggart! Adrenaline junkie!! Vagabond!!! Oh well, some of the people…some of the time…. Just steer a wide berth. Haha!!)

So here’s the challenge:  Who are you now?  (Not 27years ago. Not before Recovery. Not before graduation. Not before the accident … or divorce… or, or, or…)  Now. Who is the You stepping onto the floor in this dance of Life, today? In this retirement? In this new job? New environment? New relationship?

One may think they “need to figure it out first,” yet if you listen to the spark in there whispering new truths and encouragements that ‘yes you can,’ there’s not much to really figure out. Now is simply the time to begin acting it out ~ living it. 

(What does make it a wee-bit tougher is when you are around folks whom you have known for a long time, and they are part-and-parcel or privy to the old dramas and stories. It does make it a bit more difficult to be Now if they are more vested relationally or simply habitually in seeing you in the Then.  Difficult.  Not impossible, yet more difficult.  Simply speak up, and reintroduce yourself to them too!

YET: be advised that you, too, can ‘fall prey’ to thinking your old stories and upset the new apple cart by continued thinking and acting like that’s who you still are.  (So ~ stop it!  Hahahaha!)  Regroup.  Reintroduce yourself to You.

Be who you are. Now.

Let Barney be the only Rubble.