Have you ever asked yourself - Who am I? Who is my true self? Perhaps it is time you did.
I often turn to a wonderful little book by Parker J. Palmer. In the book, Mr. Palmer quotes May Sarton who wrote -
“Now I become myself.
It’s taken time, many years and places.
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces….”
And then he goes on to say, “What a long time it can take to become the person one has always been!”
I believe I spent my first 79 years trying to find my true self. Perhaps now that I am an octogenarian I will finally solve this puzzle. My life began in 1929 in the midst of the Great Depression, in the small borough of Blawnox, Pennsylvania. I developed into a shy little girl, who found it difficult to speak to adults. Now I am an outgoing fun, party loving, people friendly octogenarian who can hardly wait for the next phase of my life.
I’m a product of my German father and my Irish mother. I have stumbled through a life of broken families, hardship and tragedy. Not unlike many of you, I suspect. I have the good fortune to have a beautiful, happy marriage and two strong, successful, loving children. The gift of a strong faith and a happy spirit has carried me through the bumps and dead-ends of the road.
Where did that shy little girl go and how did I become the person I am now?
The answer, I think, is that the glass is always half full to me. I’m an optimist, but also a realist and basically a very happy person. I find joy in whatever it is I am doing, including my garden, books, family, entertaining friends, and my life in the church and in service to others less fortunate.
Somewhat like a child watching his favorite blankee tossing in the dryer asking, “Mommy, can I have my blankee now?” “No dear, it isn’t finished yet.”
Perhaps I’m not finished yet. I have much more to learn and to experience.
Maybe I will discover more about myself as Phoebe and I write our book. Maybe I won’t.
I darn sure know I will joyfully try to find out who I am and have fun while doing it.
*Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer