Cause I’ve Been ‘Fraid of Changin’ by Ren Martinez

Someone told me that becoming is more human than being. Later, I understood that to be a philosophical point, debated in academic circles, but at the time I heard it as only words. I brushed them off like dust and continued down my road, only to have my feet falter and stop. Because it’s not often we’re confronted with truth and it’s more than foolish to let it pass by without a glance.

Becoming means transformation. It means evolution. To Become is to change, mutate, expand. What you once were is no longer as the process of what you will be is underway. We seem to know ourselves better, the tiny atoms that make up our bodies, the strings of carbon that knit together into bones and breath, when we don’t know ourselves at all. Only that we are midway in a journey that we can no longer stop. We know the calluses on our fingers and the doubts like pearls heavy around our necks. We know we can’t see the future of what is happening but we reach for it anyway.

Transition is our most basic state. Humans are not meant for stagnation; we become bored, restless with energy, nearly frenetic. We are at our best when we barely know ourselves at all, but are learning as each piece settles into place. And then, with a heavy sigh, everything is slotted together until we ARE. We are defined; we are known. Like the state of rest after an enzymatic change, the catalyst used up and leveling out into a measurable result.

But, we are not meant to remain here. Once we have the pieces in place, our atoms ache to scatter again, to form something new. We meet new obstacles/enemies/allies, and we shift into transition yet again, change resonating like a old song never forgotten. And I, despite the terror of the unknown, despite doubt and stress and worry, sing those words as boldly as ever.

Because, in the end, I only know who I am when I’m becoming myself.

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