Identity

When Im tempted by ambition to hustle for that knowledge
I have to reflect that this journey should be about transformation not information
And all the wealth and education in the world mean nothing if I am not kind

But, I am a well-built machine
I know how to calculate my 24 hours each day very effectively
I can have a job, go to college, maintain relationships, and grow a few hobbies
All simultaneously because I was trained to be such a good planner
House, car, investments, dog
I should probably get a second car
Extra $100 a month if I rent this house and move into a better town
And next year Id like to start another degree at a more prestigious university
Blah, Blah, Blah
Wait
Stop
I don’t want that
I am none of these things
Where has my life gone
Ten thousand one hundred and fifty three sunsets that I haven’t seen
But again, I quantify
I cant unchain my soul from definable growth, quantifiable merit

I remember being taught in grade school how to set tiny goals in an epic ladder towards World changing achievement
From where I sit now, that practice seems disgusting
Teaching children how to be the most efficient cog in a machine
A dozen multiple choice exams telling me what profession I belong to
While mom and dad offer no different narrative because they are caught
In their own rat race, on my behalf of course

And I don’t know what to do
I have no tangible solutions
No comforts I can hide behind anymore
I don’t trust myself and I don’t trust simple answers
Im afraid now that even the pursuit of wisdom will turn me into Dorian Gray
Im suffocating on my own passion to be good
What other worthy pursuit is there?
Sometimes I think that God is sitting somewhere patiently
Within a quite hidden place inside of my soul
And that the devil is literally everything else that keeps me busy and loud

A constant process of letting go
The first thing to go was the idea that I could protect myself by living smarter
The best things I want in life will persistently evade me as I attempt to live safe
The next thing to surrender was my hatred and keening for justice
Forgiveness is a choice I have to remake daily, and its exhausting
My dearest friends and family would not be in my life today
If I did not forgive them for being human
The hardest thing for me to let go of, truthfully, was the tight little knot
Of my insecurity and vanity
Sometime long ago I was convinced that the sum of my being was only worth
What I could write down on paper
Sports position, college degree, job title, relationship status, countries visited, hobbies, And clean little adjectives like ‘fit,’ ‘cute,’ ‘funny’

My friends know who I am, I think
I don’t waste time anymore wondering how they would describe me
I figure out how to love them better and they figure out how to love me back
None of that needs to happen within defined limits of personality and achievement

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