Advice from Elphaba

This morning, I woke up with this sentence on repeat in my mind:

“Don’t lose sight of who you are.”

That line is from the song “I’m Not That Girl” from the musical Wicked. It’s taken entirely out of context here, but that message was one I needed today.

For the last several weeks I have been bogged down, trudging through the unusual monotonies of life. I have kept up with the demands of eight schedules, school assignments for seven, and various other church and community-related activities. But, I have not been myself.

I know, because last fall, I was not myself. And I have felt that lost feeling again.

At one point this week, I decided I was finished with feeling that way. I broke out my toolbox of coping skills: more diligent scripture study, reaching out to friends, more fervent prayer, yoga, Temple attendance, running, and embracing my love of music (thus the song running through my head this morning). In all these moments, I felt like I was cracking open a window, allowing just a bit of fresh air and sunlight into the tired room of my soul.

But I had practically given up something that is an integral part of who I am. I almost stopped writing.

This morning, as I pondered that singular line from a most-beloved musical, I felt the message resounding in my brain.

“Don’t lose sight of who you are.”

I have to write. It is healing. Supporting. It is my sanity.

I created a poem once that begins with these words, “I was born to write a song.” Not just any song–but a song of words, woven with care. A musical.

So, I’m back to my desktop today, trying to remember, recall, reenvision through my own revisions the novel that is part of who I am.

And I am singing.

Who Says?

So, this song has been running through my head this morning…along with a few thoughts I would like to share.

I feel like our family has moved often recently.  Having said that, moving has its pros and cons, as before this recent trend of moving in my life I had been in the same setting for a number of years.  I enjoyed the comforts of long-time friendships and the familiarity of the setting.  The place felt like home.  I felt like I had a long-term identity among those who loved me (or didn’t like me, or felt indifferent about me, etc.).

Well, upon one of these recent moves, I was feeling a loss of that identity…and with all the feelings that accompany that loss, I wasn’t myself.  I found someone in this new area with whom I felt I could identify…and this person became somewhat of a template for building my new identity.

Only it wasn’t my identity at all.

In a flash of inspiration, one of my sisters one day on the telephone boldly declared to me:  “You don’t need to be [insert name here].  That place already has a [insert name again].  You need to be YOU.”

Her words were cause for evaluation and thankfully revolution to find myself once more.  And, guess what?  I’ve found I am happier being me.  Go figure.  🙂

So, jam to a little Selena Gomez while you think about who you are and that no one can dictate who you are or how you feel but YOU.  In the immortal words of the German band Snap, “[You’ve] got the power!”