• Jeanette Micallef

I Am Not As I Have Been

Updated: a day ago

“I am not as I have been.”

Benedick says so much in this little phrase as it pertains to Beatrice, in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Yet it is largely overlooked as the humor of the next line lands.


How many times in our existence do we have earth-shattering life-altering experiences that

later can only be described this way?


I am not as I have been. I am different. I am altered. I am changed.


Sometimes it was subtle and I couldn’t really put a finger on it. Other times, I knew exactly when and how it happened. Regardless, the fact remains that afterward, I was definitely not as I had been.


After my grandmother died.


After my divorce.


After India.


It can be hard to explain to others.

Sometimes it feels like a new kind of seeing.

Sometimes, a new kind of knowing -- and yet not knowing at all. Knowing I don’t know and finding peace and bliss there.


Sometimes it feels like I have exited my previous life and entered a similar duplicate, but where everything is just slightly different, but only because I have changed.

Colors are different, more vibrant. So are emotions.


Other people’s energies and moods are that much more tangible – real things I have to navigate in a completely new way – a more compassionate and loving way.

My stuff still gets in the way just as much, but now I notice it more.


The same old conversations I used to participate in no longer serve me. They no longer help me to grow. The new ones are yet to be created and there is discomfort in the in-between.

Relationships built on who I had been, now feel odd and cumbersome. I feel odd and cumbersome.

My role in society, as a whole, has become both more and less important, simultaneously.

But who am I now?


No one. And everyone. I am still becoming. I have always been.

I am infinite, the entirety of the cosmos. I am a gnat.

I am aware, in ways I have not been before. I am still blind to so much.

My desire for connection has me strive for cosmic awareness.

And my fear of losing myself has me cling to my identity, despite the uselessness of doing so.


Defense is pointless if there is no enemy. And yet, I knee-jerk there first. Aggression, also senseless, shows up as compensation for what feels lacking.

The desire to not “be had”, brings competition and self-protection to the forefront.


The wall that keeps out, also holds in.


The training becomes that much more poignant and valid. The experiences too.


Become what you are already.


Healer, heal thyself.


J. Micallef

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