Reinventing 'Reinventions'

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 / 2:35 PM

There’s a part of me that’s always believed that personal reinvention can be right around the corner. A new year can mean a new outlook; a new home, a new routine. When I left DC, I believed I would find something akin to destiny – whatever I thought that was – in Manhattan, and when I packed up to return West six years later, I was certain I was finally ready to grow up.

All of that is to say that the naive optimist in me still believes I can be changed by the world around me, and that the insecurities that planted themselves in me as a child were somehow washed away by tears, alcohol, or holy water.

At 30, the one certainty I’ve been able to articulate in life is that reinventions do not happen overnight.

Why do you need to change yourself?” a friend recently texted me after a Skype session of venting. “What’s so wrong with just being you?”

I don’t know. I just feel like I’m still some sort of...wrong.

I’m too impatient and not impulsive enough. I get too obsessed with small details and forget the bigger picture. I worry about things out of my control at 2AM. I’m deeply afraid of hurting others – so much so that it’s sometimes stopped me from being honest

I’m dramatic.

This whole blog is indicative of that.

But maybe I’ve always been wrong about what it means to reinvent oneself. I’ve always thought of it as this hard stop on a former version of being and a clean slate to begin a new chapter, as if a person's life can be divided into volumes with a specific beginning, middle, and end to each story. And I guess what I'm realizing right now is that that way of thinking erases all of the good (and the bad) that a person can learn from and build upon moving forward.

I mean – I feel like I knew this, in theory. But to know it, in practice, is another thing. Hard stops, clean breaks...they don't necessarily exist when you're growing and learning. When I left New York, I needed the lessons of how the city changed me to create a new path; when I left my job this summer, I needed the hurt feelings to remind me that my job is not my identity. At every moment, when possible, I used to try and run from failure – but I think I've needed that pain to really grow.

As a new decade rolls around, all I can think about is the inevitable changes about to enter my life again – only this time, I don’t see it as a reinvention. I think I’m actually starting to like the person I am right now.

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