Letter to Emerson

February 26, 2012
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Dear Emerson,

Little did you know as you wrote your works preaching self-reliance and discovering one's true self that a teenager, walking capriciously on the tender line of identity, vacillating through moments of extreme confidence, security, complacency….only for it to replaced with doubt, confusion, and the disgusting, acidic, piercing sting of loneliness. (I have been told I have a tendency to go overuse adjectives, but I do not mind. They're great. Pugnacious, lubricious, whimsical…great words, really). Prior, I paraded myself for not caring what others think of me, but this year I surprised myself with the degree that my identity was contingent upon what others considered me, or I suppose thought of me, if they thought of me at all… I did not need to be liked nor approved, but thought of, you see? I needed to be something. That is was frightens me the most Emerson, reader….what am I, if not a concoction of others? I say this without the slightest exaggeration. At the beginning of February almost accidentally, I watched myself as if a stranger observing a new person for the first time, impressionable, absorbing. And ever since, I have been acutely observing myself from as almost a shadow perspective, being careful as to not be caught for fear of disrupting my persona. It is not a choice, you see, but a habit now, for a person I once felt so close to myself, so confident within, so real, I do not no longer even hesitate to refer to myself in third person. For through my observations, I have found the traces of Lea's style, Lea's sense of humor, Lea's goals, Lea's influences….but to what to what avail? I beg of you Emerson, explain to me: "We must be our own before we can be another's". I have tried, I have separated myself from the corrosive influence of society, or at least attempted to find what is truly me through finding what clearly belongs to those who have surrounded me. I have refused myself to fully relax until I can find it if the activity or joke is one I truly appreciate, or Lea has been made to think so. I have reverted back to my old self, almost deliberating losing notebooks and folders, tossing clothes on the floor when they so easily could be set aside in the closet, anything to retain that sense of disorganization, hoping to define myself within chaos, start anew rather than from a definition of Celia that I have built through the years.
But it has not worked, dear Emerson. "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment". Perhaps it is so, but not every accomplishment can be achieved, as we all know to well. I felt lonely dear Emerson, and confused. I had no identity, unfamiliar, I no longer liked myself for myself was no longer a unique individual. I have been blessed with extremely interesting people in my life, and if I fed upon them, so be it…. for whoever my true self is, she can not be as happy as the person I have concocted. I felt empty, I have no idea where to even begin. A few days ago, tired of the distress I have been feeling internally, I decided to draw away from the observers perspective and simply live as the Lea I have created (oh my how crazy I must sound), and it felt incredible. For the first time in weeks I came home feeling confident in myself once more. Yet I know it is not real. And for that I would like to apologize. To not only to the transcendentalists, but to myself. For the facility, the disrespect, and the lack of honor I have treated myself with. And yet, my true self, she will be fine. She remains, albeit hidden, yet she remains. It is my concoction that requires nurturing, requires consistent reminder of her self worth, reassurance. It is she whom I must let flourish without the exacerbation of my true self and its consistent nagging. Because I do not know how to be any other way. Oh, how disappointed I am in myself, I wish I knew where to begin, how to live without being artificial but yet have pride in myself, as Emerson would approve. But no I cannot. It is not so simple as he claims, he simply does not understand… I am just rambling at this point, I have realized. I have tried the Transcendentalist way, but it not for me, or perhaps I am not ready yet, not mature enough yet. All hope may not be lost however. Perhaps rather than be over-developed, us teenagers are far too undeveloped, requiring many more years until we can even begin to define ourselves. "What you are comes to you," you once said. I hope so, Emerson, I do, I am waiting, I hope….





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