"I'm feeling so slow and tired. I think I have jazz withdrawal. I need to sing more, and start listening to jazz again."
"I'm feeling tired too. Maybe you have lyme disease!"
"Don't you ever feel drained when you haven't expressed yourself creatively in a while? Like when you haven't written in a long time? Jazz is a part of my identity and when I'm not in touch with it, I feel like a part of who I am is dying or going to waste."
"If jazz were are part of your identity, you wouldn't need to force it. It would just come naturally to you. You'd be out there doing whatever you can to get opportunities to perform."
"That can't be true. Jazz has always been one of the ways I express myself."
"Maybe it used to be. People grow and change, our identities are always being shaped and re-worked. You aren't who you were 3 years ago, and neither am I. Not long ago I wrote all the time, but now I don't even like to write. But it'll come back."
So if we're always changing, what can we do to stay "true to ourselves"? For so long I thought that an identity was something you had to fight for, long to be categorized by, something worth keeping. After a while of thinking, I began to see there are some things about people that generally rarely change. Today, I was looking back through old journal entries and came across a list that had nothing to do with how I want to be perceived, and it struck me as kind of a note from the future... except I wrote it last year.
• Peaceful mornings in the countryside where I can lay in bed dozing while the fresh breeze ruffles the curtain.
• A happy, loving family built on God, love, trust, and respect.
• A reason to get dressed up in the evenings, every now and then.
• A pond to jump in when it's Summertime.
• Good friends, familiar faces, warm, hearty greetings. Laughter.
• A flower garden where I can grow & cut flowers for arrangements.
• To see Venice. Thailand. Castles in Ireland.
• To go dancing with my husband.
• To sing my heart out.
• A fireplace. Creeping vines/ivy. A staircase, a dog, a courtyard with a tree.
• Sailing! To sail, or soar!
• I want to be the kind of Mom whose children aren't afraid to approach her about their problems, who never makes her children feel betrayed, who inspires the respect and obedience of her children, not through force but through genuine love.
• I want a man who will respect me and help me to always continue to grow and learn, who can find ways to show his love for me, who I am attracted to mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. He will be a good, kind, patient, and loving father who takes part in raising his children and supporting their emotional health by being a huge presence in their lives.
• Although I will have a lot of pursuits and responsibilities, I would like to have enough time to take care of myself, my physical appearance, to have time to write and read, go for a walk- those kinds of things.
• I want to live a life in line with God's vision for me.
Despite what interests me in the moment, I think that these things will endure the test of time!! :)