One of them

March 25, 2010

How do I change the world? It is a hard question to answer, isn’t it? But I found an even harder one: how do I live with the world, and in it? How do I remain myself, when I feel the constant, strong, irresistible pull to be “one of them”?

I’ve been so angry, so frustrated and outraged in the last few days, because of all the changes that are happening in America right now. I would have ranted and raged uncontrollably, had I allowed myself to open my mouth and say anything at all. So I didn’t say anything, not out loud, but the furious argument was running in my mind, all the time, without pause.

I did not know what to do with it, about it … I still don’t know much, but I can see the reaction. I can ask myself: “why does this affect me so much, why is this so personal?” and I can trace it back to the place where I was a child, living in my family’s apartment, and not allowed to be myself.

Yesterday, lying in bed, I felt like I was back in my childhood home, back in Poland. I felt like all the years of MY life have been erased, canceled. I felt like I was one of them again, like them again. Who I was, my own life, my own creations, my own reality – even the possibility of having my own reality, was gone. I did not have my own life anymore, I was part of them, a member in the system, a family system.

And so here I am, no less angry, frustrated, terrified and disgusted … because I feel that I am not allowed to be myself again, because the system (whatever that may be, family, society, law) is intruding into my life and wants to adjust me to match everybody else, so that I am not myself anymore, not a unique, autonomous, independent woman – but simply one of them.

So what do I do? How do I live with society, in a society, but my own way?

Of course I know the answer, I know that it is not a system that is doing this to me, it is not society that forces me to let go of myself. I know that it is I who is not remaining present as who I am, it is I who has collapsed and merged, it is I who let go of being responsible for how I relate.

“Be happy”, Brooks says, “this is a great news! It’s a wonderful opportunity for you to graduate!”


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