She told me to write this down.
i've been meeting with a Professional Listener. i need to hear myself say the words i think, which is kind of a big deal, because typically the words i think don't actually exist. they start as things i feel and dissolve from there. formulating feelings into words and then saying them out loud is a big deal. it takes assertiveness, and i'm not assertive. i'm a mirror. that's what i told my Professional Listener. i barely formulate words, and i don't formulate plans, and i don't formulate steps for arriving at plans. i'm alive and i live, and while i'm living i see shit that needs doing, so i get shit done. i follow. i reflect. i'm a mirror. my Professional Listener says that this is okay, as long as i don't get lost in it. "Me" isn't supposed to disappear. who's Me? i grew up in a family that was led around by a lot of religious people -- scratch that -- "religiosity people". since i'm a girl, they told me that God spoke to them and told me to trust them and told me that girls are meant to grow into ladies and told me that ladies are meant to be led into wifehood and told me that wives are meant to be led into motherhood and told me that mothers are meant to quietly raise children and tell them the Gospel. and i did, and i do, and i read my Bible, too; but Jesus spoke to me there, too, and He never said any of that other stuff to Me. i love my family, the wind on my face, the sun on my back, the smell of wet dirt, the way light filters through maple leaves and blades of grass, the things i find underwater, the way i feel when i run far or stand on my head or dance to loud music or sing or be quiet or cuss a lot. i spend a lot of time there. i love Jesus and Christians and Agnostics and Atheists and Buddhists and Muslims and everyone else, too. i love the pain of helping people out of pain. i love relationships. i love to reflect. i love to make art. i love reflecting for others, to help them see. i need to spend a lot of time there, too. the last time i met with my Professional Listener, i left with a vague sense that it was time for me to meet Me. i felt that assertiveness was the path to Me and saw my lack of assertiveness reflected in my utter inability to win at chess. i picked up a friend's invitation to play online chess. i played and played, hoping to kick-start some assertiveness. it took time and attention, but i figured it'd be worth the investment. he'd send me screen-shots of moves i should have made, scrawled over with the words, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING". i dunno. playing chess? i gave yoga a shot, too. in the mornings, as a way to wake my body and greet the day. i have a girlfriend who does this. she does the shit out of it. i'm just shitty at yoga. i'm better at reflecting. my family and friends see Me and are beautiful -- i should try painting them, not being them. a lot of painful, lovely things are right in front of me. if i give them time and attention they'll become plans, and then those plans will become art. art for Me. art for others, to help them see. this i assert: i'm becoming a better mirror.