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There is no Other who I am supposed to be. There is nothing to live up to. Nothing to strive toward. Nothing, really, to work on. I am already exactly who I am meant to be.

I love the smell of a fire burning on a crisp autumn night. It feels like home to me. I heard crickets chirping as my dog and I rounded a corner in my quiet neighborhood this evening, and though I imagine they have made their sounds before, this was the first night in two years that I have heard them and paid attention. It was a perfect walk. The air just cold enough to warrant a hoodie over a long sleeve t-shirt. Fall is my favorite time of year. It makes me think of high school football games, pumpkins, and wool sweaters. It gives me comfort.

I felt shame earlier today for not being a more positively-minded person. I felt shame for all the things I am not doing. I felt shame for my sedentary, introspective life. I wondered if I dwell too much on the “negative.” I wanted to apologize for most of what I have posted here. I wished that my truths could have been more colorful, more varied, more dynamic. More reflective of someone else. Someone who isn’t depressive and anxious, prone to fits of self-hatred and shame, and doesn’t seek escape from life over engagement in it.

Then I had dinner with one of my dear friends. In talking with her I realized that I too often confuse where I am in my life with who I am. That is, I take my circumstances to be a reflection of my person. Rather than seeing a few months of my life as being necessary downtime, I see in my stasis proof that I am lazy or weak or depressive.

I have spent my life till now judging myself from the outside. I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to love myself regardless.

I am a person who loves the smell of bonfires, the memory of high school football games on a Friday night, and the sight of pumpkins carved and winking at passersby from the steps of a porch. I am every word written in these 101 posts. I am all the words that have yet to make themselves known. I am already exactly who I am meant to be.