I suspect this could be a series that goes on. And on. And ooooon.
No, I don’t know who I am. I know who I have tried to be. There’s a wardrobe full of suits of clothes, with different names, like I’m some kind of modern day and female Mr Ben. I can still put each of them on, shrug into it, twitch against the constriction then act out the part. Well, probably not the good time hard drinking party girl one, given these days just the sniff of a bottle of vodka sends me into a litre in a day binge.
But if they are not me, who am I? When I was talking about masks on Twitter, after I asked my GP for a diagnosis the wonderful Rhi said she didn’t know quite where hers started and ended, and where Rhi started and ended. I like that. There’s a little bit of me in all of them, I imagine. There’s not a void lurking under the surface facade, that would be ridiculous and frankly Hitchcock Serial Killer terrifying.
So working out who I am isn’t starting from scratch, of course it isn’t. It’s a gentle teasing out. A journey. As a recovering alcoholic I’m more than familiar with that concept. It’s just I kind of thought I was on mine, and heading in one direction, and now the road before me is less clear, less defined. Optional turnings, paths of desire. More possibilities. Some different limitations. New stiles to vault over, new fences to follow.
I know some things anyway. I am still a woman who loves, almost more than anything, clean sheets and a new book. I am still R’s girlfriend, who does aeroplane impressions (with noises) when going down hills. I’m not going to stop loving the woods and the trees and hills and the streams. I won’t stop being buoyed into passion by a new obsession. I won’t stop hitting slumps after days out and events. I know all this. I am me. Where I go next will just help to find more of these things.