I hear small feet skipping in and see a pair of brightly colored sneakers enter the bathroom stall next to me. Unexpected words are spoken into the stillness of a school bathroom. The little voice asks, Does anybody know me?
I startle at the question and reply gently through the cold, metal door with a smile, No, I’m sorry I don’t think I know you.
Oh, ok, the little girl answers brightly. I’m in kindergarten. And just like that, she’s on her way.
There it is. The question we’re all asking deep inside. DOES ANYBODY KNOW ME?
For thirty seven years I hid “the real me” behind a mask of achievement, perfection, and control. I only let you see the me I wanted you to see. I didn’t acknowledge that there was a “real me” on the inside. Her memories were too messy, her emotions too raw. She was wounded and imperfect and scared. It was easier to pretend that girl didn’t exist.
The thing is, the pretending only works for so long. Eventually the truth finds it’s way to the light no matter how hard you stomp it down. It’s painful, unexpected, raw, and it held me hostage for six long months. A dark night of the soul. Fear. Anxiety. Insomnia. Depression. A life clawing to stay still and familiar even as the river of life swirled with currents that would not be calmed.
I recently read that the greek root of the word crisis means to sift. And that is where the river has led me. To a place where I’m sifting the memories, shaking the sand from my eyes and seeing this life anew. Though the sifting is hard, it is good.
I’m in the cocoon now, waiting for the miracle. I know it’s coming, but it will not be a result of anything I’ve done or will do. And that’s the hard part to accept. Does anybody know me? Yes, HE does. The One who was there in the beginning and whispered me into being. HE knows me and says the truth will set me free. Perhaps one day I’ll even know the real me that He intended me to be. Please, let it be so…