I was thinking last night about all the stages of my life, all the roles I’ve played in those stages, all the ways I’ve changed for good & bad and I realized life is a little bit like really hard core, method acting. If your good at your job you BECOME the character your playing. And the line between WHO YOU ARE and what role your playing in that moment becomes blurred. However most of us have so many performing roles in one season it becomes method acting on steroids. We play parent, believer, party person, teen, etc. Then take side gigs in our professional life,. The thing is we get so into character we don’t really allow room for growth or paint the character in a certain way & refuse to let any other portrayal exist. Your portrayal becomes the only option. But what if we allowed ourself some freedom within those roles & instead of becoming so identified with them we became explorers of them. Yes your a parent & you can’t step out of that role but you can step into it differently. Walk through the door and see where it takes you. Look around you at the ways others play that role and learn or do something completely different with it. And the same goes for faith. You step into it and explore it for yourself, you don’t let it define you no more than if I choose to take the interstate I don’t call myself an interstate follower. Instead I just drive & enjoy the scenery. Yes I watch for road signs & take direction but I don’t ignore all the side roads & dirt paths because my role is interstate follower. And same goes for anything you do.... could you just show up & say “today I’m going to BE this thing with all my heart, but I’m not going to be this thing to the detriment of MYSELF that exist beyond this thing”. Or maybe we show up out of character completely & do a little improv. Show up not carrying the same stories, show up not responding in the same way, show up empty handed and follow someone else’s cues. Ask others where are we going today? Lose the act altogether. Walk in without a script. And that doesn’t mean you don’t take the role…by all means consider yourself a feminist, a believer, a republican, a Democrat but don’t let the role you play define everything about you. Because eventually we all step out of those roles & move into one. We’re all going to die, we’re all going to come to the end of the reality we’ve been living & move into something else. But we don’t have to wait for this part to end before we step into who we are apart from the roles we play. We can live fully in today & be fully aware of the fact we are not the roles we play. And we can make a choice to not be the thing we have been. We can step away from some roles (not family roles by the way ;) for good. We don’t have to play the same role our whole lives & we shouldn’t. Growing older shouldn’t be about finding yourself IN the roles you play, it should be about growing despite the roles we play. We are after all explorers at our core & not just really good actors.