So I’m awake at 3:30 this morning, thinking about what that means. Beyond, of course, the fact that I now wake up at 3:30 in the morning with more frequency than can be assigned to many other facets of my life.
Hormones. They’re a fickle thing, baby.
But they’re not the sole reason I’m lying here in the dark with my good husband sleeping next to me, one good dog curled at my feet and the other on the floor next to my side of the bed. No, they’re not the sole reason I’m awake.
Who am I? I breathe in, resting my hand on my belly button, the first scar of severing that never goes away.
I am not you, I breathe out.
Or you. Or you. And that is okay. No, it’s wonderful. Because it means I am me. Just me.
Turning 48 is this moment.
It’s also the moment when the thoughts that come to me at 3:30 in the morning—unrestrained, unconventional, liberal and liberating—seem quite feasible.
The main thought, the one that plays itself over and over in my mind, is this: nothing is anyone’s business. What we think. Who we love. If our perspective differs from another human who walks this planet, trying the best to make sense of any of it.
We don’t need to normalize. To standardize. To walk a mile in anyone else’s shoes. We just have to allow each other the space to breathe in and out…in and out…hand on belly as we ride the pulse of humanity and ask, all 7.1 billion of us who occupy this spinning globe, the same question.
Who am I?
Which is why I believe, still.
Not because I’ve been told that good people believe. Not because I’ve been told what to believe. But because the sheer creative force of all those answers, each one wildly different and wonderful, brings me to my knees.
I believe because we question. I believe because we find different answers. I believe because that one fact reveals an artist who creates no knock offs.
I’m turning 48.
Not today, but soon.
The beat between my 3:30 am thoughts and releasing my need for approval is short, the shortest it’s ever been, but still there.
Maybe at 49 it won’t be.
One can hope.