I do not understand.

I do not understand the purpose of my continued existence outside the scope of the expectations and obligations laid upon me by those around me. By the Self that has developed from those interactions and expectations. Always there, weighing on me. I want to run unburdened, without feeling guilty. I’m not sure how this is done though, the Self keeping my capricious thoughts in check.

I’ve worn many hats, picked out for me by others. I am fond of quite a few, and remember to brandish each gifted hat for its corresponding giver’s pleasure. Yes, I do indeed look stunning in the Good Daughter, the Innocent Maiden, the Respectful One, the Confidant One, The Silly Friend, the Wise Beyond Her Years, the Happy Go Lucky Kid, the Smart One, the Sarcastic One, the Agreeable One, the Hard Worker, the Sensible Adult.

It only makes sense such a woman will do the right thing and move to family, be grateful for a shot at a big company, buckle down and secure a “future”.

Yes yes, she likes the arts and to ponder things, but that isn’t very pragmatic of her, and she knows it. She’ll take off that Happy Go Lucky hat as soon as I give her a quick reminder the Hard Worker and Agreeable One suit her far better. Of course I only want her to do what she wants, but this is the best option.

No, this is the best option, she doesn’t wear those hats only for you, you know.

Actually this is the best option for her, how could you others not see it?

Siobhan, you should do this.

But I do not want to fold to the pressures “offered” to me, in the forms of advice and knowing stares. I struggle with the separation of them and me, of the artificial Self and me. For which person do I put on this hat? And who’s to say the created Self isn’t now me? 27 years is plenty of time to meld.

In 1637, anguishing over his very existence and nearly going mad, Rene Descartes declared, “I think, therefore I am.”

And here I sit thinking, what comes after “I am”?


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