verb tense, defining oneself, and a cheating song

reading a book i picked from the free box outside my favorite thrift store on sunday, two questions appear on page 21:

are you happy with your life?
do you like who you’ve become?

contemplating these questions, experimenting with different answers, i play with the spectrum between yes and no. if i define happiness as satisfaction and purpose, then i’m happy with my life. i also know how to make my life happier: write everyday, love more each day, and take a nap every afternoon.

feeling confident about my quick conclusion for the first question, i proceed to the second question and pause. do i like who i’ve become? the present perfect tense indicates that the becoming is complete, but my becoming isn’t complete.

before i can answer whether i like who i’ve become, i spend a couple days considering how i define myself. am i what i do, what i don’t do, what i think, what i believe, how i feel, who i love, what i love, how i love? am i none of these? am i the witness watching the one who does, thinks, feels, loves? am i separate from the ones i love? are we connected? have i lost the plot? do i like who i’ve become? do i like who i’m becoming? who do i want to become?

answering the original question with more questions circling my brain, i break to the kitchen seeking a question-asking reprieve in a jar of peanut butter. after peanut butter, i nap. after napping, i hike in the forest west of my apartment. while hiking i decide that who i’ve become is someone at the beginning, someone starting over, someone who has left the life by which i had previously defined myself. at the moment, i’m new. i’m undefined. i haven’t yet decided who i want to become. i like not knowing. i like wading into the unknown.

your turn:
are you happy with your life?
do you like who you’ve become?

p.s. last week i wrote a bad poem that became bad country song lyrics. while writing this post i pondered the possibility of defining myself as a bad poet and bad country songwriter. although i derive immense pleasure from writing bad poetry and bad county songs, i suspect i can aspire to something gooder.

 

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About angel joy

love is an action verb. i live love in action.
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