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Pieces of Me

January 23, 2013

When you have lived for more than half of your life expectancy, you have to stop occasionally to take stock of that life. You have to add up all the little pieces of yourself that you have given away or had stolen, so that you can know how much is left.

Once, you have an accounting of what remains, then you can decide whether to allow that remainder to be stolen, whether you will give the rest away or whether you plan to keep something for yourself. Not giving it all is very difficult for women. We are often taught to put ourselves last. We come after the spouse, after the children, after our elderly parents, after the dog. But what happens when you have nothing left but years? Years, and bitterness because there is nothing left.

I’ve freely given pieces of myself to my children, my ex-husband, my friends, my extended family, and men I thought would be around longer than eight months. However, even after so much giving and unbeknownst to me, I’ve kept a little of myself for myself. Just a bit, tucked away in some far off corner of me that no one, not even my children, can reach.

I don’t consider it selfish. I consider it self-preservation.

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From → Reflections

4 Comments
  1. You’ve done a good job here of preserving your identity while revealing the person that you are. You walk the line between information and mystery; I look forward to your future posts!

    This particular post is most certainly reflective, as you’ve categorized it. I expect that your reflections will help you know yourself better and will help your audience at the same time. My only suggestion is to make it more personal by using the first person instead of the second. Your blog’s tone is already quite personal and using “I” more will help people connect to you more.

    I also love your tagline “Too old to play the fool; too young not to play at all.” You imply that you have a long history, but are not scorned. You have a great attitude and a voice that will speak to many!

  2. This is wonderful Sistah. I’m reading your work in a Starbucks and just stopped to share your first sentences with the stranger next to me. I love my job, meeting so many new voices every semester.

    This morning I asked one of the other students in class what they thought was more engaging for the audience: questions or answers? Your piece has few question marks, and yet it is full of questions. Your ability to share those questions, honestly and so clearly, is nothing less than an invitation. I am engaged.

    This doesn’t mean there isn’t work to do.

    I would combine the first two sentences. “Take stock” is cliché, when the rest combined creates one complete thought that fully encapsulates where you and we are headed.

    When you have lived for more than half of your life expectancy, you have to add up all the little pieces of yourself that you have given away or had stolen, so that you can know how much is left.

    An unnecessary comma mars the next sentence, and I’m not sure the entire sentence is necessary.

    Once, you have an accounting of what remains, then you can decide whether to allow that remainder to be stolen, whether you will give the rest away or whether you plan to keep something for yourself.

    I tried to edit it a bit, but it came out redundant:

    Once you have an accounting of what remains to be stolen, given, or kept, then you can make some decisions.

    And can you really decide what gets stolen, or given for that matter?

    We are often taught to put ourselves last.

    Be direct.

    We put ourselves last.

    …after the dog. That’s direct.

    Lastly, this is an abstraction. Abstractions like “love,” “fear,” or “pieces” of the self, will only come to life when they are defined with specific details. Talking about “pieces” of the self could even be considered a cliché, but you use the metaphor to good effect. Still, this is an invitation to your story.

    We will want the details sooner or later.

    Thank you for posting. Brave work.

    Bob

  3. I find your writing very sharp and humorous. i look forward to seeing what direction you will go with this…will it be sort of “everyday, observational humor” or will it be more “social commentary”? anyway, I like your sharp wit…

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  1. I Wish I Didn’t Care About Anyone | My Present Self

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