I turned 29 about a week ago to very little fanfare. That doesn't mean I haven't been busy.
I spent my actual birthday at work, then at home making costumes for an event- performing for another person's birthday- while my husband languished on the couch from the cold I gave him [a thousand apologies, my beloved].
The weeks prior to that day were spent in an uncomfortable head-space, where I doubted every small aspect of myself: my worth, my sense of identity, my place in the Cosmos... let alone the communities and relationships I considered myself a part of.
I tried a few things to ease my self-doubt: I threw myself into my work as a dancer and into my day job. I meditated whenever I had a moment. I read, and read, and read until my eyes stung from the strain. I think that even my decision to jump-start my plan to transition my hair back its natural state was part of this... need to find myself again. All I got was the occasional sweet release, the rush of endorphins- only to then be brought back down through aches and pains, and sickness. The limitations of my body, the things I couldn't just will away with positive thinking.
Of course I knew it was all in my head. That didn't make any of the pain any less true.
On Sunday, I reconnected with my husband- despite our shared illnesses, and he said something to me that almost made me weep.
"Your unflinching resolve to be yourself... it's one of the things I admire the most about you."
I've always striven for a semblance of authenticity in whatever I did. I don't think that's an inherently unique thing either- we all want to be seen and acknowledged as our true, authentic selves in all that we do. But it's easy to sometimes feel that in the process of defining yourself [often through visual codifiers, labels, etc.] , you run the risk of burying what is truly 'you'.
And if you think that you've lost 'yourself', it's easy for something like Imposter Syndrome to latch on to that as the explanation for your feelings of inadequacy or isolation amongst your peers.
I've been alive now for nearly 3 decades- on average that's the halfway mark of my lifespan, and that's a little scary. And as I've progressed through life I find myself redefining who I am within the confines of certain labels or identities. Each with their own incredible weight.
Daughter. Sister. Wife. Witch. Dancer. Showgirl. Tarot-reader. Black. Immigrant. The list goes on!
But while those labels are a part of my identity, that's all they are- just a part. And even put together, I - Lindsay- am more than the sum of those parts.
And the best thing that I can offer the world is Myself. Unflinchingly.
Because when I am Myself, I put myself in sync with everything that I am supposed to be, and everything I am a part of. Even when that nasty little voice tries to suggest otherwise.
I received a lovely comment this afternoon from someone who watched me dance earlier this month, and the comment she left me left a hum in my brain that responded in kind to the words my husband said.
She said: 'I just love the way you dance with such emotional commitment!'
And this is again, referring to a performance where I threw myself into it to seek an answer of some sort, to my growing Imposter Syndrome and self-doubt.
Maybe, just maybe, I am communicating exactly how and what I need to. Maybe I am in fact stronger than those voices in my head.
As I sat down to write this reflection, I thought back to my Year in Forecast Tarot spread- where I pulled cards to show me the theme or lessons for the months ahead. I remember chuckling to myself about the card drawn for February, but I couldn't recall it at all until I looked at my notes again:
The Moon in Tarot is not only about confronting the shadows and illusions of our selves, but it is also the card assigned to the Zodiac sign of Pisces.
Not only am I a Pisces Sun [which explains the chuckle from past Lindsay], the performance I mentioned a few times in this blog post? Was specifically about the exploration of personal and interpersonal Shadow Integration. WOrk that has literally taken a year to manifest [as I joined my dance troupe mid-February, just after my 28th birthday].
And my role in the show? Was as a Shadow.
Sometimes these synchronicities write themselves. And you can only sit down and have a good laugh at the end of it all, when the dust has settled.
I hope to use the rest of my time here on this Earth to continue this work- to face my Shadows, to live with unflinching authenticity. If I leave this world and have done nothing else to be remembered for, then it would have been a good life indeed.
May we all live life unflinchingly.
LINDSAY - Black Woman, Wife, Witch and Resident Blogger of DarkLake Tarot~
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