Editor’s note: I spilled an entire bottle of nail polish remover on my keyboard last month and have yet to get a new one, so if there are any “e”, “w”, “a”, or “q”s missing from this post, I’m not illiterate, just clumsy.
I think I’m having my annual identity crisis. I’ve spent the last hour or so walking around my apartment yelling, “who am I?!”. Every time I do this, my dog looks at me, like he’s desperately searching for the right words to say, but he can’t say them because… he’s a dog. I’ve been staring at myself the same way, in between bouts of angsty shouting, only I can’t equate my lack of response to not being human.
I am- a human. I guess that’s a good place to start.
But that’s not enough. This time last year, I felt like “enough”. That was my biggest take-away from my year of sobriety, “I am enough”. And though, I couldn’t exactly explain what that meant, I felt it with every breath and every bone in my body, and that for me was, well, enough.
I tended bar at a Hollywood party yesterday, and at one point, I looked up from behind the half-empty bottles of Rose, and I scanned the room. I took stock of every writer, director, actor, and Hollywood elite around me, and I’ve never felt smaller. I stood there for a moment, doubting that I would ever get out from behind that bar.(Metaphorically speaking, of course. My shift ended at 4pm and I was ready to blow that popscicle stand).
What makes me different from these people? What am I missing? Who do I gotta sleep with in this town to get to where they are? (Kidding, Mom).
I think I was asking myself the wrong questions. What I should be asking is:
Why do I care? What does it matter? Where did Amelia 2015 go, and can we get her back?!
Amelia 2015 was the best. She didn’t care about status or ego. She never felt small. And she certainly wasn’t missing anything (except her ex, but she’s gotten over that in 2016).
Talking in third person is gross, but you get my point.
I’ve spent most of this year trying to get back to the person I was last year and I’ve spent most of this year, blaming my lack of self on my lack of sobriety. I’ve probably said it a thousand times, just this week (and it’s only Monday), “I miss who I was sober”. But, I just realized, who I was last year, has NOTHING to do with being sober. Sure, my sobriety was a catalyst to self discovery and being bored and alone and drink-less forced me to really get to know myself, but why has it been such a struggle to maintain that sense of self this year? I don’t think alcohol is to blame, actually, I think blaming alcohol is a cowardice cop-out.
Truth is, I got lazy. I stopped sitting with myself. Just sitting and being and being okay with that. Currently, I take on any distraction that will actually prevent me from having to sit with myself, and I don’t think that’s because I’m depressed, or scared, or worried I might find something I don’t like. I think I just got really fucking lazy.
So, back to the big question of the night. “Who am I”? Well, I’m not a lazy human, so that bad habit has got to go. And I’m not a sober person, and that’s okay. And I’m certainly not a Hollywood elite, despite the recent success of my B-rated horror film (shameless plug). Still doesn’t answer my question, though. Who I am not, doesn’t tell me, who I am.
Maybe it’s like Eckhart Tolle and Michael Singer say we just “are”. Maybe I’m a robot living in a theme park controlled by Anthony Hopkins. Maybe I’m a crazy dog mom looking for answers in all the wrong places. Maybe I need to sit with myself a little longer.
Maybe that’s just what I’ll do.
Thanks for working through this one with me, guys.