Identity crunch…

November 3, 2010

I got a second opinion yesterday regarding my wrist and the torn ligament.  Suffice it to say, something will need to be done, and that something will probably mean recovering after surgery and readjustment to a wrist that is no longer “normal”.

My right hand is my dominant hand, and is the one that is compromised.  After surgery, it won’t be the same.  Something better than a wrist that is slowly deteriorating, I hope, yet not the same as before.  I don’t know right now what it will be like to sculpt, or even if I will be able to pick up a chisel.  I’m questioning the sanity of cosmetology school and the pursuit of a career cutting hair with a prognosis such as mine, and I’m wondering who I may be after this is all done.  So much of how I view myself is tied in with what I can do with my hands.  It’s humbling and quite unnerving at this point to realize how many eggs I have placed in that one basket.

I’m wondering how I will define who I am.

Who am I if I can no longer chisel on stone or wood?

Who am I if I don’t finish school and become a hair stylist?

Who am I if I don’t contribute in ways I have always seen as having value?

Who am I if I no longer call myself an artist?

Who am I if I drop every single notion of what I thought defined me?

and on a more superficial layer…

Who am I if I change my hair color?

Who am I if I give up my life long obsession with my weight?

Who am I???  Who will I be??

We place so much value on what we do, how we look, how much money we make, how much we ‘fit in’, and on and on, ad nauseum.

If you strip it all away, surely there is something left?  How do we define the non-tangibles?  How do I measure the other gifts I may have to offer?  Does it matter that my cat loves me?  Does it matter that I can offer solace and friendship to another?  Does it matter that I love and feel deeply?

I don’t want this issue with my wrist.  I want things to be like they were before, but they are not.

I’m scared.  I’ll admit it.  I am unsure of what the future holds.  Maybe I’m most afraid of what will be left, and what will not be…

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