The best imitation of myself

by bkajlich

I feel like a quote out of context
Withholding the rest

So I can be for you what you want to see
I got the gesture and sound
Got the timing down
It’s uncanny, yeah, you think it was me

OK. so it’s been a little ridiculously long in between posts.  I might have to rename the site 365sits/100posts. eh, details.  I’m sitting, and that’s what counts.

It was my birthday friday.  Another year older, another digi added on.  I’m not going to tell you how old I am… you can find it online anyway if you really want to know… but it is my favorite number ever, TWICE. That has to mean something, right?  I have a feeling it’s going to be a big year🙂

It’s possible I have been going through some sort of internal metamorphosis as my numerals were changing this past week.  I wouldn’t put it past this meditating fool.  I literally feel my brain matter shifting. Why do people do drugs again? I have felt more at odds with myself in the last 7 days then I can remember feeling in a very very long time.  I will spare you the details…lets just say it was not pretty. Yesterday I arrived in New York for a week of work related meetings and some alone time. Well, I hadn’t planned it specifically for some alone time, but as I boarded my flight I realized it may be just what the doctor ordered.

Who goes to New York City for some alone time???

ME.

Somewhere over the course of the last week, something became dislodged in this heart of mine and broke apart and entered every artery, vein, and capillary. I found myself questioning everything about me and my life. Questions ranging from things I thought I’d figured out years ago to things that have never occurred to me before… feelings ran the gamut from reflective and pensive to downright despair.  There were times this week when I flat-out hated myself. HATED. And then those feelings translated to actual actions that I hated. Things I said and did that sounded and felt so hollow and empty.

WHO IS THIS CRAZY PERSON????

And then I came to New York. And a pale grey rain blanketed the city. And I headed out with my umbrella and walked. and walked. and walked.

I felt like a beautiful invisible ant among a million.  My umbrella cocoon held me within myself as I watched the people walking by and listened to the sounds of the city. The rain. The chatter of people and different languages passing by. The subway thundering by underneath. Life moving, going, changing… and my constant self plodding onward as it swirled around me.

I chose no specific direction. When a street beckoned to me, I turned down it.  When a smell lured me another way I went toward it.  It was well past lunch, but I’m still on west coast time so I was hungry. Somewhere between an italian and mexican restaurant I passed what I thought was a dog store, (mostly because it was called The Grey Dog.. silly me) halfway down the street I stopped in my tracks, turned around and headed back to it. As I peered inside I could see it was packed with people. Now, normally this would deter me when I am by myself. I don’t like being in crowded restaurants when I’m alone, I usually feel that it highlights the fact that I am, indeed alone…. and since I’m single again that somehow now makes me feel like I have a big L on my forehead. Big breath in, exhale out… walk in… in my skin, in my skin.  Ordered a sandwich at the counter. “For here or to go?” the guy asks. Every bone in my body aching “TO GO TO GO TO GO TO GO TO GO”  My mouth opens…

“For here please”.

I sat at the little table, some country-ish music with a harmonica blared, I liked it. Scouted the room… no one’s staring, ok, no one’s staring. I settle a bit, pull out my tattered leather journal and start to jot down notes about my walk… my sandwich arrives. I take a bite, look at my notes, notice the warmth around me, people laughing and chatting, bustling life, beautiful life, life life life…. ahhhhhh life.

I burst into tears.

I was so happy in that moment. so content and so at peace with me. Just ME. I didn’t care what anyone else thought, I didn’t need anyone else’s approval. What mattered most at that moment was what mattered to me. My own company was absolutely all that I needed.

A dear beautiful friend of mine wrote to me “Life is given to me when I stop giving a shit, when I stop playing the game and just do my thing. When I stop reading minds. For those few brief moments, I feel free.”

Ben Folds says:

Maybe I’m thinking myself in a hole
Wondering, who I am when I ought to know
Straighten up now time to go
Fool somebody else, fool somebody else.

How exhausting is the fooling? And at the end of the day does it really serve anyone? Do you care to be in the presence of someone who wouldn’t stick around you if you didn’t pretend to be someone else? What’s the point?

My sister-in-law told me something once that I believe to be one of the more powerful pieces of advice I have ever received.  Still reeling after the end of something so sacred and special and dear to me, I asked her “who will I spend my life with? I can’t even picture it… who will it be??” To which she replied:

“Yourself. You will spend it with yourself.”

And that my dear hearts, is the only guarantee we have. You are all you really ever have. No need to waste it on imitations. You are perfection. You are truth.

In this city of millions, I remembered the one who matters the most. xxb