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The Chosen Self

We tend to describe the destination we are all heading towards with language like ‘our future self’ or ‘our highest self,’ which, for me, has felt unrealistic, too distant, too separate from who I am today.

I’ve had trouble relating to a mythical version of myself that I must chase or be puzzled by until I figure things out.

I recently came across the language of one’s ‘chosen self,’ and it resonated deeply for me. It was a reminder that the type of woman I choose to be in the world—the woman who enjoys a solo night out at The BlueNote for a midnight jazz show with a glass of champagne and an order of fries, the woman who spends Sunday mornings at a 9 am matinee with my lover, the woman who carves months of sabbatical each year to hone and indulge in my craft of writing, teaching, and building, the woman who has slow mornings reading bell hooks by the pool before swimming laps as a way to move my body with joy and intention each day, the woman who finds grounding in my village role as an ‘other mother,’ holding sacred the opportunity to stand in with rich value to my community, the woman who finds ritual in the day-to-day of ‘the living’ and who cultivates space around the world to do so—

That woman lives in the body I’m in right at this moment. She speaks with the mouth I currently possess, and she thinks with this mind and heart I’ve been tending to for over 30 years now.

When I hold onto the language of the chosen self, I remember that I can choose to be her anytime I’d like. I can choose to have daily intention to settle into her, to feel more familiar and in tandem with her rhythm. Who I am right now can be home