Today begins the first of three features on finding yourself. “Be True to Yourself” would be another good name for this series with the perspectives of three writers:
Part 1: The Freedom of “I Don’t Know” ~ Natasha Head
Part 2: What story do you have to tell? ~ Terri Stewart
Part 3: On the Razor’s Edge ~ Jamie Dedes
The Freedom of “I Don’t Know” …
There is a peace to be found in releasing labels, brands and notions we are conditioned with before we even have a chance to determine if this is who we want to be. Every day, I feel as though I am failing in the expectations others have for me, yet…I know I cannot let their preconditioned labels define me.
The little bit of myself I have been able to hang on to, throughout all the many roles we get sucked into, shows in my writing. If I had to name the biggest reason why I do write, it’s to hang on to me. The one thing I can be sure of in this world is the girl sitting in the dark corner alone, tattered notebook and cheap pen, ink spots on her fingers and a desire to be left alone with her thoughts.
This is my church. I can enter anywhere, on any day, at any time. I am always accepted, I am always welcomed, and I always feel…right.
I think that sense of “right” is one of the hardest things to find in this world. For so long, I tried to shape myself to fit in so many ways others told me I had to in order to be part of the crowd. They would fight me tooth and nail when I asked a question they couldn’t answer. They would belittle and scorn me for not taking as faith what they never had the courage to question. Where is the poetry if we are not allowed to question? Where do great ideas and new discoveries come from if we are not pushed and encouraged to seek further.
When they come at me now…wanting to know my beliefs, where I pray, where I’m going to go when I die…I’ve learned they already know the answer they want to hear…and I’ve learned the only compassionate one I can give, so as not to offend and engage is “I don’t know.” Really…what other honest answer is there? It turns a soldier into teacher, a teacher to a guide, and suddenly a new path unfolds with an invitation to explore. I have learned so very much…simply by admitting, I don’t know.
And at the end of the day…how much does it matter if it steals from the gift this lifetime is? Our true blessings are found in the now. In the time we have right now to help, to lift up, to learn, to love. Imagine, if the world could stop debating what is personal and individual to everyone, and simply come together to make the most of where we’re at with what we have? If there’s one thing I do know…it would have to make it a much better place…a much better now.
- Natasha Head
© 2013, essay and portrait, Natasha Head, All rights reserved
Photo credit ~ Petr Kratochvil, Public Domain Pictures.ent
NATASHA HEAD debut poetry collection (from Winter Goose Publishing) was Nothing Left to Lose, a Pushcart Prize nominee for 2012. A year later – almost to the day – her newest offering, Pulse. was released. Natasha blogs at The Tashtoo Parlour and participates in a leadership role on d’Verse ~ Poets Pub. She is the founder and coordinator of New World Creative Union.