…and you ask the basic, who am I?

Who are you? You go about stripping down the identity layers, trying to find your core self. There are no pictures of you that capture how you see yourself. You’d love to have an image of yourself that was true. There isn’t one. You try to record your voice, and you can’t hear yourself speaking on the playback. That’s a stranger talking to you.

Are you male or are you female? Are you better equipped to handle being inside an old person’s body, or has your prime time of alignment with your body already passed? Are you really an American, or just conveniently one for the sake of this particular episode they are calling your life? Are you more of a feeler or a thinker? Do you thrive in large cities or rural areas? Would a different time period, a generation or two in the past or future, be more to your liking? Or, are you inescapably precisely who you were meant to be in this exact time and place?

You have asked these questions, and many more like them, where you weight the possibility of being someone who possesses a polar opposite attribute from one of the ones assigned to you in this life. You always fall short. You just aren’t quite any of these things, and you aren’t even certain that you are completely human. But, you also know that you are no beast, angel, demon or god.

You woke up in the middle of the night last night with the sensation that a succubus had injected an astral tentacle into the back of your neck. But maybe she was something else. A succubus is supposed to be young and seductive. This thing was an old, witchy crone who groaned your name and tickled the back of your neck. A loud humming noise was present, and you felt almost as if she held you like a marionette. You knew for certain that this thing was not supposed to be attached to you, but you had forgotten the ways and means to get these things detached from you, and so you simply forced yourself to wake up, and felt the back of your neck tingling with the memory of the hypersensory connection until you went back to sleep.

Most people would say you are crazy. Some would say that the thing was an alien or a demon. You feel as if she might be still attached to you somehow, and informing your behavior.

You can’t get rid of these things, as well as the more mundane habits of your younger, brattier years, until you fully define yourself.

This is what being and becoming a man is all about. Your truth is a stake in the ground that you drop, and say, “this is it.” You are supposed to do this before you turn 20 and not look back. Unfortunately, one of your bad, lingering habits is one of constantly looking back and sifting through the past to make sure that you didn’t leave something important behind.

The difference between who you are and who you were can seem at times both negligible and astronomical. One minute, you are certain you haven’t changed much at all in the past twenty years, the next minute, you go back and read something you wrote five years ago and you are amazed at how much you’ve grown.

But then, who are you? Are you meant to be nothing more than the name attached to how you made your living, with a neat summary of the places you lived and the children you had? Are you to become something completely different when you die, no matter which afterlife paradigm you choose to buy?

Some people still argue about the objective nature of Time. Is Time only in our heads? When we are anxious for something to happen, time moves slowly, when we are having fun, time moves rapidly. So, perhaps if we put ourselves in the right state of mind, then time will rise up to meet us. If this is the case, you haven’t figured out how to put yourself in the right state of mind. Pretending that you will wake up even 30 min in the future as if no time has passed at all is futile.

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