Becoming has been a randomly resurgent theme in this blog over the past few months. Maybe I should give it its own “category” (or, as Natalie would say, ~category~ — shoutout to my only reader!).
As a kid, I collected older, cooler, smarter, awesomer friends, and assume you did, too. Of course, I rarely consciously thought, “hey, Camille is awesome, I want to develop these five traits she has,” but, in a holistic sense, this really was what I was doing.
I don’t really believe in regretting things I’ve done (and man, do I ~do~ stuff), because the things you’ve done make you who you are (or, as the people-with-an-ethos put it, “arbeit macht frei”), and I like who I am, and even if I didn’t like who I am but had the same brain, it would think that regretting past actions is silly, because, if nothing else, they’re these infinite, perpetual self-teachable moments.
(Technically, that sentence was NOT a run-on. I think.)
However, the minor things I DO regret having done are situations in which I had the opportunity to shoot to be a bigger person than I was, and turned those opportunities down. I’ve always been comfortable with ingratiating myself into a position in which I was over my head intellectually, but rarely have pushed those boundaries socially or physically. When it came time to choose a sorority, I played it safe; when I got home from a sorority meeting at 3:30 AM and had to wake up at 4:30 to row, I threw away all my efforts in one fell swoop, joining the hordes of other fallen wannabes.
It’s kinda weird that we humans have always been who we are, and yet are always becoming. Like, in the womb, I was this beautiful perfection of a zygote, and then a hot mess, and then I came out into the world as a freakishly ugly little human (because all babies are freakishly ugly, especially when covered in placenta and CRYING — god, the CRYING), and even then, I guess I had a brain, and some feelings or something, and so I was somebody. And then, when I was two or three, and pooped in the bathtub, well, I was that person, too. (And it was fun!) And when I was five, standing under a grapefruit tree, trying to parse out who was Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson, and was amused by my first big earthquake, I had been a person, and was a person in that moment, and was also becoming a new person, all simultaneously. And, when I was eight, and we got Magic, and we sniffed each other because I was sick on the couch all week, and then made a habit of picking him up and tossing him into the next room (he liked it!), I was who I had been, and who I was right then, and becoming who I would be the next day.
I feel like this point is ripe for a deep interjection about the Holy Trinity, and maybe finally understanding the relationship between the three, but I can’t quite make the connection. Somebody else do so, please.
I suppose I’m doing a really shitty job of explaining my thoughts. Sadly, my prose’s clarity is strongly correlated with my level of political crankiness.
A point…a point…why do we need a point? My point is:
being in a new place, a new space, with a new organizational schema, is helping me more tangibly identify the person who I want to be, instead of just the person I don’t want to be. Consciously identifying said activities and characteristics may come off as Machiavellianly calculating, but it’s nice to have goals for my continual, unavoidable becoming. I like meeting people and recognizing what I do and do not like about them, and I like meeting people who actually can push me to be bigger and more organic, even though they don’t know they’re doing so. I like planning weird adventures, like whitewater rafting through Indiana in the spring, or gambling at the Kentucky Derby after finals, or turning my Facebook Bosnian and listening to my Croatian lessons on the way to school so I remember more than “hvala,” “ja sam,” and “drago mi je,” all of which I probably just misspelled terribly. I love law school, and I love not being the smartest kid in the room. I love Chicago and $10 symphony tickets. For that matter, I just love Mahler, Shostakovich, and Berg, and Rachmaninov, and Janacek, and I love absentee Muti for creating such excellent non-boring programming this year. And now I’m completely off on a tangent.
Basically, this post’s arc makes sense in my head, because it basically is my head, but I do apologize for making you wade through this convoluted mess. Just pretend it’s More Comprehensible Joyce, and, if it’s actually less comprehensible, please assume I’m more brilliant than he.