The Rest Of Myself


Photo by Jon Katz

“From the time she moved up into the wing, Thea began to live a double life. During the day when the hours were full of tasks, she was one of the Kronborg children, but at night she was a different person. Her self confidence “that sturdy little companion,” assured her that “she had an appointment to meet the rest of herself sometime, somewhere.   It was moving to meet her and she was moving to meet it.”  The Song Of The Lark  By Willa Cather

I’m reading the new biography of Willa Cather, Chasing Bright Medusas, A Life of Willa Cather by Benjamin Taylor.  I never read Cather’s story,  The Song of the Lark, but seeing this passage from it in Taylor’s book makes me want to.

I know that feeling she writes about, of feeling like two different people.  Of wanting more than what was expected of me.  Of somehow knowing that even though I was shy and insecure, that someplace inside of me I had a spark, a strength that I would someday be able to access.

As I went through life I would meet people who I admired and thought to myself, someday… someday when I’m older, I will be able to be who I really am.

And like Thea, when she was in the environment she grew up in, she couldn’t be her true self.

I wasn’t as aware of my own self confidence as Thea was, although I can remember having a vague awareness of it,  glimpsing it at certain moments in my life.

Making that appointment with myself had taken a lifetime.

It’s a journey that began when I was very young, but picked up speed when I was in my early forties.  It was then I realized I had arrived at my “full moon” and if I didn’t make the changes in my life soon, I would lose my chance.

My “unfulfilled moon” would start to wain.

As frightened as I was to make those changes, it was even more scary not to make them.

It has been years of spiraling movement, never a straight line, with lots of support and love from Jon and my friends, and with professional help.  Always with the idea of that “appointment….sometime, somewhere.

And now that I’m just  few weeks away from being 60 years old I finally feel like I have kept that appointment.  That I have met the rest of myself.

Not that it ends there.  I know there are always more changes to come.  But I feel like at least now I can face whatever comes with my whole self.

10 thoughts on “The Rest Of Myself

  1. I can relate to the journey of true self. It hit me while listening to the Beatles song The Long and Winding Road when I was a young mom of 4 kiddos living 1400 miles from everything I knew. Instead of the song being about another person it spoke to me as the creative part of my soul that didn’t want to get left behind in the day to day busyness of being a wife and mom, both things I loved and wanted. So as I grew older I found ways to meet my creative self and nurture my soul so none of me is left behind. It’s been a long winding road but I’m so happy to be on it, discovering new parts of me at each stage of my life

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