Who am I now? And now? And now?

She spent half the year in bare feet, listening to Rasta music, peddling her creaky, rusty bicycle while wearing skimpy sundresses in the heat. It was the last year of her twenties. She swam in the ocean everyday, got a deep Caribbean tan, had an intoxicating love affair, and smoked vanilla-flavored tobacco in her hammock under the firefly-lit skies at night and in the mornings, swaying there, she would write.

She wore her pajamas at mid-day, and carried her body as though it weighed a thousand pounds. She had lost the twinkle in her eye. She would get it back, but for now, the days consisted of unenthused trips to rest in one room of her apartment or another and sometimes a brief walk outside for air. She’d rarely make it very far and felt dizzy and light-headed from the anesthetic that had yet to fully wear off from her recent surgery. The days were long and her laughter was nowhere to be found.

Dressed in black, a reflection of her fall from grace, with teased hair and cut-up stockings stretched over her arms, she kept the company of other fallen angels who were learning to ease the pain of growing up in grunge music and substances no one of fourteen should know anything about. She etched her pain in her notebooks and dissolved its intensity in her entanglement with the mysterious bad-boy from school.

She was a child, twirling on the grass while singing in the sweetness of her own voice, doing cartwheels, and dancing in the mystery of her own imagination. She wore the kinds of things little girls wear and didn’t have a care in the world. Feeling the grass and dirt between her toes, living on the land felt like an endless adventure each day. Life was a playground designed purely for her enjoyment.

Who am I now? And now? And now?

{These four vignettes are an excerpt from a larger work on self and identity that is part of my current Masters coursework in Counselling Psychology.}

2014 © Marie-Ève Bonneau
Artwork by Km Berggren