February 23, 2013

Today I had brunch with my dance teacher and she posed a really interesting question. We’ve been working on a slew of things lately, and she blurts out: “I feel like I’m my most authentic self when I’m dancing.”

My mind has been in a tailspin trying to process the verbage of that statement. Inarguably, if that’s how she feels that she communicates her insides most truthfully, then that’s her complete personal business. I’ve just been thinking about what verb I would attach to the end of her unintentional question. What’s my “-ing”? When do I feel the most myself? What verb helps me communicate this to others? I thought about it all day, but every answer I came up with seemed like the wrong one.

I have items that represent me, nouns and things that represent my most authentic self; but no verb. I thought about paying attention to Carmen McRae’s phrasing, but I couldn’t be my most unique self experiencing someone else’s form of communication, could I? Listening to jazz music and drinking a cup of coffee couldn’t possibly be me at my most myself… Which begs the question: how do you even quantify what your most authentic and pure self is?

If I was going to rip myself down to my core and figure out what that’s made of, I may say jazz  singers, caffeine and scarves; but I might also say a combination of other extraneous factors that serendipitously united either by accident, or because I knew that it would be the perfect equation of happiness.

Perhaps I’m at my most authentic self when I’m repurposing other people’s lives so they make sense to me. (I.E. stealing things or people from my real life, and re-appropriating them through my writing.) I don’t even know if that counts.

When do you feel like your most authentic self?

What is your verb?


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