Today is my day off. I wanted to go Downtown, but discomfort lingered in the background – a someone looking over my shoulder with disapproval kind of discomfort. So I made excuses. I gathered my defense. I prepared my escape. I threw my distractions and despite the flimsy justifications I had cobbled together, the other me went for it. I slipped out the door and was in my car before he doubled back waving his arms and demanding to be heard. I was caught.

But to my surprise, he wasn’t against me going Downtown. He just wanted me to be honest about why I wanted to go Downtown. No excuses. No justifications. No lies. So I faced up to it and felt not shame or guilt, but relief and freedom.

This time my battle was an internal one. I felt tension between recent changes in who I am and what I wanted. I assumed first that my desire must be the guilty party, but I wanted it anyway. I tried the artful dodge and failed. I’m glad it failed. As a result, I had to sit with the other me and talk it out. In doing so, I realized that while a little messy, this perceived tension came from a lack of awareness and understanding. My identity and my desire were not mutually exclusive. At least not this time.

So I sit here staring out the coffee shop window on Downtown Memphis. Had I won my little gambit I would probably still be here, but I’d be trading my present sense of peace for that nagging discomfort. This way, I get to enjoy it.


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