Unique columns, essays about contemporary issues from a sometimes jaded though frequently upbeat perspective.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
When are you the you you are?
CANCER (June 22 - July 23): Your fears and anxieties seem to be getting a bit out of hand, so you need to remind yourself today of who you are and what it is you want to do with your life. Clarity of purpose will banish your doubts.
Thus wrote Sally Brompton in today's horoscope in the Globe and Mail.
In my case, Brompton's observation is bang on — today at least. Even though I do not believe in the veracity of horoscopes generally, they occasionally hit a personal mark. This is one of a few occasions.
A friend told me a few days ago that I need to put myself first. It's something my sister Debra suggested months ago. Apart from fretting about money, I rarely think much about myself. Days go by that I don't even look in the mirror. Oh, I look to make sure my hair is groomed for public consumption. But there are no hard stares to assess my face. It's been my face for decades; it's still there — and much as it ever was.
Putting oneself first seems sage advice. I'm just not sure how one does that. I like to share my stuff (thoughts, money when I have it, home). Maybe I'm a slave to others, though I doubt it.
Brompton's implied questions are: Who are you? and What do you want your life to be about?
Who am I? That's a million-dollar question. Our sense of self is tied up with so many things: age, experience, gender, innate biases, family, culture, personal history. I believe I have a sort of core personality, though it has evolved as I have grown.
What would I like to do with my life? Again a poser. I think I am always doing something with my life. But the question seems to suggest that I must choose to do something in particular. It's as if there is only one thing that one needs to do with one's life.
I'm not sure that 'putting oneself first' has much resonance either.
I guess even though Brompton's pithy advice does echo for me today, it still falls short of the mark.
I think we reconstruct ourselves all the time. We never stand still.
Maybe a better question — one suggested in lyrics to a song I cannot remember — is: Can you name 10 reasons you want to live? Now that's a toughie. Try it — you may not like it.