poetry, Self Image, Things I Have Lost Along The Way

An Identity Crisis.

July 23, 2012

An Identity Crisis

We may ask ourselves: Who is this person? while watching the lover pull a hair off their tongue or wiping their upper lip with the back of their hand or eating a bowl of oatmeal on the edge of the bed to catch the news or drinking a dark beer at M’Lady’s in SoHo.

Because sometimes we get lost in the bustle of it all. And these questions might come fast as a sigh of relief and they may vanish as fast as the beer glides down the throat, the hair comes off the tongue, the sweaty upper lip smooth as butter puckers into an


We might get in our cars, make faces at ourselves in the rearview mirror, eat our breakfasts in the bathroom to save time and sweat with our lovers and then one Tuesday we realize that the person we once were has changed so many times over, has fallen into the groove, into the pattern of days, is as predictable as the setting sun

so we may ask ourselves: Who is this while watching our lover pull a hair off their tongue or wiping their upper lip with the back of a hand

and it might feel answered, we might think we recognize them.

That we know who we are.

So we go on and make more faces in the mirror, changing the natural shape of our mouths or seeing what our eyes would look by pulling our hair too tight, and we might keep driving,

keep walking

keep drinking,

keep eating,

nothing truly stops, ever,

bury the father,

clock into work,

tell them that you love them if that’s what they want to hear,

clock out,

keep going,

we might feel almost sure we’ve got it,

that we are in control.

Keep going to bed, keep waking up.

Don’t stop, don’t ask,

buy the birthday cards,

celebrate the years,

don’t move from where you are,

trade one relationship for the next

go to bed,

wake up

You’re still there.

Look: you’re still here.

***This piece was written when I was 20 years old 

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No Comments

  • Reply jack6744 July 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Love this don’t ever remember reading it.

  • Reply barbarapotter July 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Love this. Don’t ever remember reading it.

  • Reply Paige July 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Oh my God, I love words. I could have a love affair with your words. Why do they keep resonating with me? I feel them like I feel my own heart. Please keep sharing. No worries; I’m grounded, stable, and fully present. It’s just that your words keep finding their way to the part of me that is authentic, truly authentic. Just came off an oncology training for yoga teachers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and I’m feeling so raw, yet inspired from all that I’ve experienced. Your words lift me through the grief of losing my father and going through immense changes in my life. I am the caterpillar becoming the butterfly, and your words give me faith everyday. I will continue cocooning. Thank you for proving to me that butterflies emerge…Waiting to fly…xoxo Love, P

  • Reply Jennifer_Woods July 23, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Yet it’s still fresh and pertinent as though it were written today by the fully-grown, experienced, wise woman you are now, rather than by the inexperienced, troubled, confused young adult you were all those years ago. I love your writing, Jennifer. Your words are what make me get up excruciatingly early on a Saturday morning to take a two-hour (each way) bus ride to your classes. Your words are why I started going to your lessons. The way my body feels so alive and properly-used after class is just a glorious bonus.

    • Reply barbarapotter July 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Wow what a beautiful comment to my daughter.

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