In a different life I wrote my MFA thesis about discovering myself as a person. It was, it still is, a collection of short stories - "a novel of publishable length," was the requirement. I called it Skins. The stories are about the personalities I flowed through while growing up to end up the adult I was when writing it.
The loafer wearing, prudish, smart-girl in the under-performing middle school.
The patchouli wearing, Deadhead morphed Phish Kid, who followed the band in the summer, but sneaked off to hotels to shampoo and shave, while the die-hard's went au naturale at the campgrounds.
The record collecting, show-going, Indy rocker who hid Martha Stewart Living magazine like contraband under her bed.
The college-age, activist-feminist who felt kissing girls and guys who were not her significant other was fair game as long as it was during spin-the-Crown-Royal-bottle.
The college grad facing real life, mourning a dead boyfriend and spending nights at the corner bar.
At 26 when I was writing the collection I felt solidified. But a decade later, I realize that I have continued to morph this entire time.
The empowered, single, confident, city dweller with different dates every weekend.
The female half of a dual income, happy couple living in sun drenched So. Cal, enjoying monthly facials and lunches al fresco.
The new mom giving all those previous people she'd been away in exchange for this new little person and then searching for the next identity the comes.
And so where am I now? The first thought that came to me was Costco membership having Ohio mom. But fuck that. No offense to Ohio mom's, but when I was a person who thought herself an artist, a writer, an adventure seeking occasional guitar player, I would not have been satisfied with that definition of myself.
But defining yourself in a moment is always easier in hindsight. So here's another crack...
The mature, working mother, who hasn't given up on worldly adventure, but has put it on hold for a moment until she gets her money right and the kids are old enough to travel more easily.
So where have you been? Who are you now?