I have tried to wear them, but some have been frayed. The threads have unraveled. Some have either been too small or too large for me. Some I have simply not been able to place upon my head. Some have not matched the clothes I have, the colors of my being somehow do not fit. They have come pretty close. Perhaps if I was asked and was able to give my preferences or measurements, then the hat would be a perfect fit.
I have done my best to accept the hats handed to me. I have worn them as best as I can. Through the disappointments of my unreachable expectations, the squeeze of economics, my lack of presence in this place, my inability to express my frustrations, I have tried to fulfill the roles however vague I have been given.
I could give an answer. I could say who it is I am supposed to be here. But I am afraid another box would be put around me, another hat made which too soon would constrict my head. I have ideas of who or what I should be, but the glass is so dark and dim that the clarity eludes me.
I seek the freedom to be who I am and yet not void of relationship. I seek guidance. I seek to be listened to. I seek to move past the fear to a life of freedom and joy. I seek to continue the journey of finding myself. I seek the hat that was made just for me.
I cannot be who am I not.
I will no longer accept hats that do not fit.
October 8, 1997
(Author’s Note: Midweek Essays are published every Wednesday. See the publication schedule page for more information).