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Now I Become Myself

It’s not a hero’s journey; it’s a pilgrimage

Source | | Sahana Chattopadhyay

Now I become myself. It’s taken

Time, many years and places;

I have been dissolved and shaken,

Worn other people’s faces,

Run madly, as if Time were there,

Terribly old, crying a warning,

“Hurry, you will be dead before—”

(What? Before you reach the morning?)


In this singularly passionate poem, May Sarton writes for all of us. Wearing other people’s faces. Conforming to social norms. Trying too hard to belong without every really belonging. Confusing fitting in with belonging. Trimming our edges—all those quirks, beliefs, dreams that make us unique—to be accepted by an amorphous ‘they’. As we go about this world carrying the weight of armors accumulated over years and decades, we lose ourselves. In the many guises we put forth, ‘who am I’ cries a quiet, desolate, often desperate voice within. The voice goes unheard.

Designations, roles, social constructs become our identities. When I left my corporate job and my designation behind, I divested myself of one armor. It took me a long time to realize that I had been hiding behind it. We hide behind so many masks and armors that eventually we become invisible to ourselves.

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