“Who Am I This Time” is an intuitive story title from the mind of Kurt Vonnegut. In this story, Vonnegut writes of a shy man that participates in community theater. Off stage, the man is quiet and socially awkward. On stage, he conveyed every character with valor and artistry.
I find great perspective in short stories, especially that Vonnegut tale. The shy actor in the story was able to be confident all along, but he settled for being confident in reciting scripts and never learned to get his own voice out.
I had not thought of this story in awhile, but it popped to mind after finding an old article I had started but never finished. My old, scribbled, paragraph reminded me of that actor… set on playing a role but in exchange forgot my own voice.
I just stared at it thinking…WHO was I then?
This is what I had written on that paper…
A Single Voice in Coupled Life –
I thought: I never write anymore.
I wonder: What changed?
I realized that all the difference was that I had fallen in love.
But where were my thoughts?
Finding: A Single Voice in Coupled Life.
I was unable to finish the article because to find my voice I first needed to accept my life, as it was, at the moment. That required me to realize: I may never find that amazing gig; touch my lofty dreams; marry the love of my life or have the “American Dream.” I would have had to understand that distinct independence, the sound of a single voice – is rooted in complete acceptance of where one is in the now.
It’s a crappy hard lesson to wrap a dreamer’s mind around… let me tell ya. But the good news is that it’s a key ingredient to freedom.
It makes sense that in order to be solid in who you are, you must know where you are at.
So how does this work when we are coupled? I can’t tell you I have mastered it, but I know where I may have become confused…
As humans, what we personally invest in, results to be ultimately important to us. So, if a person were to invest in a relationship, more than he invested in himself…I can totally see how the single voice could be muted in coupled life.
I have to wonder, when some couples “grow apart”; could it be that they were just finding their individuality again… and the relationship that was built didn’t “fit” individuals into it?
I will never pretend to know how this all works, but it is interesting to ponder.
… Who am I this time?