Saturday, July 22, 2006

Identity Crisis

I think an identity crisis is my real problem. But, who wants to hear someone like me, who's "got it all," complain about feeling like I don't have anything?

My problem stems from trying to balance the fact that I'm a desperately independent individual, possessing a very concrete and real need for alone time, with the reality that I'm someone's wife, someone's subordinate, and two people's mother...among other things too numerous and complicated to list.

I love my husband, adore my kids, and hate my job -- but all three are necessary in my world...and all three suck all of my energy and there's so little left

Writing is one thing I enjoy and vowed to do more of last year when I was on vacation and trying to come up wiht a plan for my life. I do write some, but I don't feel like it's enough. I want to write more, and I want to get better at writing and expressing myself. I feel like I have a lot to say and there are certain niches that might actually care to read about it.

I've taken up running again, because it's the only thing I do that feels good physically, mentally, and emotionally (after I stop -- while I'm doing it, I feel like I might die). But, it's the first thing to go when life gets crazy, and, let's face it: my life is always crazy.

I practiced the Copland clarinet concerto tonight. For many reasons, I've decided to perform it in recital this fall. That piece defined me for many years -- I was the rare high school clarinetist who attempted it and played it well - the piece helped me prove my mettle as a musician. My freshman year of college, I played the cadenza for my seating audition and shook the school up -- getting 2nd chair in the wind ensemble. I performed it for my senior recital, as well...but haven't played it since. It's been over 11 years. Tonight, I remembered a lot of things about playing that piece -- why I originally chose it just before my junior year of high school, living with it the way a musician has to live with a piece of music, the people I shared my progress with, how the melodies and rhythms fit into my life at that time. (On a side note -- I think part of why my connection to my past is so strong has to do with being a musician. Hearing music 10, 15 years later rouses a part of my brain that stored away all my emotional trappings of the time I first heard the music. The muscle memory of performing music does the same thing. It's amazing, a little scary, and slightly annoying.)

As happy as I am to no longer have to define myself as a clarinet player, gosh -- it was so easy to just define myself as a clarinet player!

Who am I? Can a rogue independent woman exist inside the body of a cog in everyone's machine? Where is the balance? How do I find the line between self-care and selfishness?

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