I’ve been known to talk about my “core” a lot – that part of the self that isn’t penetrated by outside experience, strong in a non-attached sort of way. I’m usually talking about yoga and making some joke about my physical core being all flabby, which makes me worry about the state of my aforementioned metaphysical core I’m sure it’s pretty annoying to anyone who has to listen, and for that, I offer my condolences.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to be spared that mini-Amanda-lecture-series a.) consider yourself lucky and b.) don’t tell those other people, but I may have been wrong.
I know you’re shocked.
We speak about a core Self as if there is some true person buried beneath the layers of self, as if enough digging will unearth a Truth long hidden, some deeper part of our personality that will once-and-for-all explain ourselves to ourselves. I suppose it’s the urge behind the whole “finding yourself” business everyone was supposed to figure out in their 20’s.
Well, I’m 38 (I almost typed 37 – that goes to show a certain slippage of self right there, don’t you think?) Any sort of core identity seems to be slipping further and further away as I get older, when I thought the reverse would happen.
The older I get the more I’m struck by a terrifying idea – I’m just making this crap up. And when I look around at everyone else it unsettles me even more – everyone else is obviously making it up too. Duh. Y’all aren’t even good fakers.
So now I’m having to rethink this whole idea of a core – it’s elusive. I’m going to go all spiritual here for a second, but this whole core-business seems to be the exact opposite of identifying with an idea of who you are and all about tapping into something that is much bigger than any of us – something that asks nothing, demands nothing, but encompasses us all. It’s like looking out at the night sky and realizing how tiny you actually are.
It’s not what I thought being a grown-up was all about. But it is liberating, in a jumping-off-a-cliff sort of way, so at least there’s that.
Now let me go anchor this rope to a tree before I creep over the edge.
I can’t wait to see what I find down there.