I’ve been trying to write something for The Carioca in the spirit of wrapping things up, so to speak, and say a proper farewell to this unique year that was 2018. But I found myself struggling… Not something common for me. Though writing is always hard work, the so called “blank” or “writer’s block” has never been part of my nature.
Suddenly, I figured out the problem – and it was the very thing (I instantly knew) had to be the single item on my list of wishes for the new year, as 2019 was rising on the horizon: I wish to BE MYSELF.
Thinking “oh, this is just too simple”? Think again. After all is said and done, I notice the thing we end up lacking is usually… ourselves! And that is why we sometimes keep feeling so empty, even when it seems we have it all.
I first stumbled over this thought as I was trying to write about “end-of-the-year-blues”. I just couldn’t do it. I was writing and writing (and boy, was I writing badly!) and nothing was really coming out of that. Suddenly, I got it. That wasn’t “me”!
The idea was honest. I felt compelled to write about it after noticing, once again, that some truly fine and relatively happy people tend to feel really down this time of year and why I thought this keeps happening. So the theme was there, in my mind, some words just dancing around, but it was not shaping up easily as it usually does.
The truth is: my heart was not really in it, for these days I’m not so much a person to talk about problems as I am about the solutions. Not so much about the past (or the future, for that matter) as I am about the present. Not so much about sorrows and doubts, as I am about joy and faith – not in a religious sense, not at all, but faith that there is not such a thing as loss, but just a process of learning and enjoying life, even when it’s not exactly a walk in the park.
That notion carried me very deeply into myself while I tried to remember what was that I wished for during other end-of-the-year periods. So many images came to mind…
I wished for better grades at school the following year.
I wished to get rid of those extra 20 pounds!
I wished I would finally study drama and creative writing.
I wished for a chance to travel everywhere.
To publish a book.
To see one of my scripts turned into a real movie.
To never again worry about money!
Well, I don’t know about your wishes. Maybe you had (or even have right now) some in common with mine. Maybe not. That doesn’t matter at all. Because these wishes are actually… well… they’re kind of fake! They are a package, a cover, a mirage masking their one true meaning. What I really always wanted (and, I truly believe now, so does everybody else) was to be more of MYSELF.
The problem wasn’t that I wanted good grades. It was that I felt, sometimes, that I was not matching my true potential. And it certainly was not about being overweight as a teenager; but, instead, about the fact that I was not recognising myself in the mirror! Studying drama and writing was not solely about the activity, per se, but about putting myself in situations where I was fully conformable in my own skin – instead of doing other courses that were also absolutely interesting and useful, but that were what other people thought would be right for me. And so the list goes on and on.
It was never about the things I thought I wanted so much, but about moving towards home. For that is how I think about each one of us today. We are our very own homes. At least we are supposed to be. If we only make the very simple, but hard, effort to shut down the outside voices and align with that thing that is ours to claim. Our essence. Our home. Ourselves.