Burn the trash to rise above the ash
|Over twenty years ago, my friend John changed his name. He didn't feel that a name like John fit him; maybe it didn't. He chose a less classic name, though it wasn't a careless choice. How he thought of himself went into the final decision, and I remember him telling me he almost chose a name with a bad connotation before someone pointed it out to him. John's gratitude for learning that impressed me, and I realized this decision mattered hugely to him.
How we think of ourselves affects us lifelong. I'm fifty and I still hear the voices of criticism in my head. They're not as loud since I started renewal. That's what I'm in, is a period of renewal. I've reached a new place in my life and I don't know how to explain it. I've spent decades being someone's daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. Now I simply want to be somebody in my own way. Finding the language to describe this isn't easy. For years I defined myself in relationship to other people or the ideas they held. I knew I was lazy, stupid, foolish, and untalented. I knew I was useless and a burden, a waste of breathable air. I knew aiming high was for other people, not me.
These past few months, I haven't cared nearly as much about those things. Those accusations against me evaporate quickly now. Perhaps it's related to reaching milestones. My younger son graduated high school this year. He has a vehicle, a job, and a plan for his future.