How to be aware of the becoming.
With every word I write I am becoming something else.
I feel like I am alerting every cell in my body to this change, but it most certainly is the other way around. I arrive at each word—a culmination of the forces working within—unconsciously, as if it materializes from the ether, to become the person who would feel sensations and think thoughts and move in this world.
And my daughters are doing the same thing every day: they are becoming someone new right before my eyes.
How do you teach them to embrace that journey? How do you help them feel safe in this unsettled and constant transformation? How do you show them how to celebrate this radical, awe-inspiring evolution when we ourselves are also always evolving?
When we consider the constant flow of change, that we are always becoming something other, how can we feel confident that we know anyone, that we know ourselves?
We have to change how we define knowing and becoming.
We have to change how we think about identity.
And we have to leave space for ourselves and for each other to become.
We have to allow for some room to navigate the becoming, or we stifle the process and influence an unbecoming.
To become, we have to remain fluid. We can't define boundaries, we have to resist the urge to settle into our own identities and the definitions we enforce. At any moment, we have to be willing to not know, to lose a definition, to exist in a world where we don't understand something we thought was concrete, something we ultimately took for granted.
This is why I believe these one-word prompts are crucial to our understanding of the world and of each other. To practice this undoing of the concrete world is an essential exercise in knowing and becoming.
If we can pull apart the basic words that define how we move and feel in this world, if we can deconstruct the words we use to connect with one another, we can redefine them and work to understand what they really mean to us and others.
So when we say I am happy, I am in love, I am hurt, I am scared, I am hopeful, we not only know what we mean, we can understand the person saying it because we've done the same with words like dad, partner, writer, daughter, woman, mother, and we've allowed space for those definitions to ebb and flow.