November 8, 2010

Coming to Terms with Myself

In graduate school this semseter, I am reading 18th century British Literature. We are in week 9, so there are six more weeks of school to go (hooray!) This is one of my all-time favorite time periods, and I especially love the Poetry, and the emphasis on emotionalism (aspects of Romanticism). This week, I had to read a series of poems by William Wordsworth. Wordsworth is probably my favorite Poet, though I tend to like Robert Frost a lot as well. We read some of Wordsworth's most famous poems, and there were a couple that really, really moved me. I had a hard time doing my home work (answering questions) simply because I didn't know what to say. I was so moved by his experience with sadness and loss, that I found myself just feeling his words, but not being able to analyze them.

I finished my last two questions today, posted them online, and now have some breathing room to work on a short paper for my Chaucer class. As I finished my answers, I started to think how a like Wordsworth and I are -- I mean, separated by several centuries, we still approach life in much the same way. A worshipper of Nature, Wordsworth spent the majority of his life outdoors, observing nature, reflecting on his memories of nature, and then writing some of the most beautiful poetry about nature. I wish I could say that I am a poet, but ahem, I am not. I am a writer, and do love to write; but that is my only claim to being like him in skill. No, really, Worsdworth and I are alike in how we process information, especially sensory information; and then, also in how we reflect upon the deeper meaning and context of emotions, passions, and understanding as we see it. Nature for the both of us is the catalyst that helps us focus our thoughts, and gives a framework to our sensations. I love to sit and think, to ponder, to wander, and to observe Nature. I find it calming to my mind, the quiet stillness, and the gentle way I am able to recollect memories from the far distant reaches of my mind. Nature, like God, helps me understand myself, and my place in the world (or Universe).

Today, then, as I was walking to Walmart (from my car), I started to think about myself, about who I am, and about what is going on or happening in my life. I realized quite suddenly that the person I am today is not really any different from the person I was 25-30 years ago. No, I am exactly the same as I once was -- the only difference is that I have a far deeper understanding of myself, a far greater appreciation of God and His work in my life, and a far more intimate relationship with Him. My mind has cleared, I see it all now, and I realize that I am who I am simply because God made me this way. I have worn a lot of masks over the years, and I have tried to be what other people told me I should be. I never was comfortable with anyone but me, so after trying to defend my right to be me, I simply stopped talking. As a naturally quiet person, those around me who were more boisterous, more outgoing, often would assert their way thinking I needed their help to be like them. In truth, I was quite happy as I was, but they thought that they needed to change me, to help me be better.

I know now that I chose to stop using my voice -- I never lost it. Even when I was being taken advantage of, I could have said no, but after years of trying to speak and not being heard, I gave up trying. I think this happens a lot, and it doesn't always mean that you are weak or unable to speak for yourself. Sometimes the din and the roar that other people make is too much, and people like me choose to retreat into their quiet selves, where it is calm and peaceful. I did this, and I do it often. If I cannot go for a walk, a ride, or to a quiet place -- I just go someplace in my head, my mind, where I can find my solace. I have always done this, and I still do it today. I understand me now, and I am OK with what I do, why I do it, and when I do it. I am very content to be the quiet person that I am, and what is more, I think God is quite happy for me to be me too. Afterall, He made me this way, and He must have wanted me to be this way -- so I am thankful to Him that He did, and that I can love myself, listen to myself, and learn from myself. God is so Good to me.

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