I had an epiphany a couple years ago, and yet I did not realize it was an epiphany until two or three days after I had had the epiphany. I was scrolling down my ‘News Feed’ on Facebook, revisiting status updates, and I paused to read my response to a friend’s status update. While I was reading her status update, it hit me, EPIPHANY! I had completely missed this when I initially commented because I am a writer. I have known from the first time I picked up a pencil and held it tightly within my small hand that I was born to write, and yet no dowry came with my birth so I had to go to work.
I was blessed with a successful career that made it possible for me to retire after almost 28 years, while still youthful, and with the rest of my life to do what writers do, write. Unfortunately, often times I enter my writer modus operandi without realizing I have done so. The writer modus operandi is nothing more than writing exercises that are required if you want to get anywhere with your writing, and particularly so when your pen has lain idle for any extended periodicity of time. It was suddenly obvious to me, upon revisiting this status update that I had entered my writer modus operandi mode while responding to another’s status update, and therein I had completely missed the epiphany.
Before I continue, humor me for the sake of those who may be snickering over my “while still youthful” comment. For most, it is obvious that 40 has become the new 20; 50 the new 30; 60 the new 40, et cetera; however, should there be any doubters, I challenge you to go back a few generations and find a photograph of someone who was the age that you are now, and if this does not dispel your snickering, blame it on genetics.
It is not simply the more youthful look, it is also evident in our body’s ability to do more. Although I detest lying, to man or machine, I self-admittedly confess that I have taken up lying to the Nautilus equipment in the fitness center, e.g., the elliptical trainer and treadmill. However, if I do not lie and enter my age as 30, in place of 50, give or take a few years, before I have a chance to warm-up, the machine’s lights begin flashing and “slow down” begins scrolling across the screen as if the machine were yelling at me. So, trust me, times have changed! We are more youthful, in more ways than the generations that came before us, but I digress.
A friend had posted the song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” via YouTube by U2 and Bruce Springsteen. A great song, by the way! I’ve always liked this song. Who does not now, or then, like ‘The Boss” and his music? Well, being made up with equal parts of wit and sarcasm, I responded: “Keep looking!” This was followed by a reply of, “I will! How ’bout you?” And, this is where I subconsciously entered my modus operandi writer mode I mentioned earlier. I started writing without much thought, something writers are taught to do; write, and don’t think! I wrote:
“The truth of the matter is that until I learned to become comfortable in my own skin and be okay, even happy being with myself, I wasn’t ready for anyone else, and all endeavors to settle (and that’s all I did was settle) were futile and left me feeling as if I were losing the person that I was meant to be, thus forfeiting my individuality to others. Once I learned that I was responsible for validating myself and did not need anyone else to validate me, I no longer felt the need that was insecurity to look for someone to fill a void that only I could fill. So, how about me? Life is good, I am very happy, and when it’s right – when it’s my time, it will be, and until such time, I am happier than I have ever been in my life.”
I read my response multiple times, and I said the same thing each time, “Wow, this sounds so right-on, but who really wrote this?” Sadly, it has become our human nature to feel incomplete if we are not tethered to another. When we continually look for another to make us comfortable in our own skin, to make us happy, and to complete us, we will always and forever get it wrong. And what is worse, we will never know who we really are. It’s a vicious cycle; we keep giving ourselves away, forfeiting our individuality and shelving the very parts of us that make us who we are – just to be with someone.
If I have to shelve the parts that are me, the very best parts that make me who I am, my own individual self, then that someone is wrong for me. I am comfortable in my own skin; I can be alone with myself and be very content. I don’t need anyone to validate me, and I will not forfeit that which makes me uniquely me to pretend to be happy. I’m already happy! What I have realized is that we change without realizing we are changing, until one day we revisit a Facebook status update.