I am SOMEBODY! And yet I’m nobody….

14 Jun

Before you email, rush in to save me, and assume I must be experiencing a mid-30’s existential crisis (my birthday is in August and thankfully, I’ll only be 34), think first about your automatic need to reassure me, relieve me of the doubt it appears I’m feeling, and to halt the Kori Crazy-Talk.

What’s that about?!

At some point it seems most of us decided that we’re not supposed to feel helpless, lost, confused, even unimportant, miniscule, tiny. Meaningless….

“Okay, okay already!!”

Yet we do. We feel this stuff. We feel it a lot.

So many of us are walking around like zombies asking “Why?”

“Where is God if I feel so empty, so miserable?”

“What is there in this life for me?”

But what do you do when you notice this questioning, this longing?

You probably push, you scream, and then you hide.

You cover your face, you put on a mask, you go grab the alcohol, you go stuff your face with food you don’t taste, or you pop the pills “you saved for a rainy day…”


Before you get mad at me for being negative and pessimistic, consider how true my statements are and then realize that you just don’t want to hear the truth.

Pedaling this morning on the recumbent bike I noticed halfway through my workout a frenzied surge of energy. Punching the “mode” button a few times to navigate to the “speed”  indicator, sure enough it was registering almost 15 mph faster and at a higher resistance! I had just taken a look again at the photos I’d taken earlier. (As you know I’m preparing for a contest and as it gets closer I am in touch daily with my coach to ensure I’m on the right track). I saw the muscle striations. I saw the full, hard, roundness of my quads and shoulders. I looked crisp. And I got a surge of adrenaline as I imagined standing on the stage in my new suit next to the other competitors, out-posing them, flexing with precision, and hearing nothing but “WIN, WIN, WIN” in my head. I texted my coach- Let’s DO THIS!!

In the next instant I went through a wave of  sinister laughing bouncing from the edges of my skull to  hearing, “you do realize that you’re one in millions of people on the planet…a speck…a nobody…”

I was struck by the profundity of dichotomous emotion. From elated to vacuous, I came full circle and was abrasively reminded of life’s ebb and flow. How tumultuous the depth of emotion we can experience may feel, and yet how fleeting those emotions can be. And what gets an individual to the point which he can face his vulnerability, his raw, wounded,  incomprehensible, and unacceptable self?

“The sun will shine again, huh?” a client said definitively but with the quick upturned tone familiar when a question is asked. Over the phone I could see the tiny lines in the corners of her mouth as she smiled softly.We were discussing my experience this morning and how the circumstances of her life over the last month had registered similar notes.

And another who is wrestling with the grief he is traversing after his father died, said to me, “I’m not sure how long this process is supposed to last, but I know I need to be moving on with my life.” His statement demonstrating his misinformed belief that he could only do one or the other and that the grief needed to have a finite stopping point. I pointed out that he had been laughing a minute earlier and inquired of whether his choice to work with me wasn’t a good enough indicator of his effort toward “moving on.” His father’s death was obviously bringing up uncomfortable emotions, a sense of something missing, a “void” he called it, and as many deaths do, a sense of his own impermanence.

We’re like rivers really. Always flowing. We feel. We feel deeply. And we can acknowledge the importance of those feelings, or we can live like prisoners behind them, giving them the power to cage us and be the guides through the narrow channels of life that offer far less excruciatingly beautiful glimpses of transformative confidence and  daunting frigidity. But we must also realize that they are not all we are.

As somebody I make a difference, I have meaning, I am important, I am connected to the greater good.

As nobody I can recognize my insignificance and the futility which exists in trying so hard to be what I’m not, and in turn expect to reach the depths of both and honor their presence.

Even as I prepare to click “publish” to share this with the world I question 1. ) how my goal of winning a competition is worth getting excited over and more importantly, how superficial an example to  use to demonstrate the power of emotion; and 2.) how self-doubt could lead me to second-guess whether this blog is even worth sharing. Who am I to believe I can touch someone’s life merely by exposing my ineptitudes and the insights I’ve come about as a pilgrim of my personal journey? But then I recall the people I am drawn to most auspiciously– those who relish in life’s fragility, who are wise because they recognize and embrace their flaws, and who sprinkle their wisdom gained from truly living, in the most humble and yet personally rewarding of ways.

As I send this into cyberspace I breathe and hope that it will touch others.

And if it doesn’t, I remind myself that I’m still okay.


6 Responses to “I am SOMEBODY! And yet I’m nobody….”

  1. saggabao June 14, 2012 at 9:36 PM #

    Bingo! What you have put into words just what I was thinking yesterday when I was criticized for losing weight and yet I went to the gym and ran a 5k without even knowing it until the timer went off to end my workout. You seem to alway be in my brain!! 🙂

    • kpropst June 15, 2012 at 1:50 PM #

      Stacey, When we can filter out the noise that doesn’t jive with what we know to be true at our core we’re able to engage life more fully. You’re a model at this– from the start you’ve embraced the “process” rather than merely the outcome. That’s a skill!

  2. Caroline Oppenheim June 14, 2012 at 10:04 PM #

    My first response was not to cheer you, I was gonna pull a Kori and say, just feel what you are feeling and don’t judge it don’t try to drown it with food or whatever your poison. Allowing myself to feel confused, conflicted, elated, depressed, inconsolable and joyful often within minutes of each other has helped me avoid the cheetos, cookies etc.which I used to numb feelings I was taught we shouldn’t have or were bad. You have taught me to embrace the suckiness of life. I felt like hot stuff tonight because my strength has increased and I deadlifted 20 percent more weight than last week. So cocky was I , I skipped cardio after. Got home took a shower and looked down and said “what’s that???” I saw my belly – not as flat as I want it to be. In seconds I went from “I am ready and ripped” to “I have no business even thinking I can compete, where is there some chocolate?”. As somebody, I am confident, focused, inspired and motivated and exuding health and determination. I am more productive at work and in charge. As a nobody, I am humbled, empathetic, understanding, compassionate, grateful and forgiving, I listen to others, I learn instead of teach, I follow instead of leading.. At the end of the day I like both of me, I NEED both of me.

    • kpropst June 15, 2012 at 1:54 PM #

      Caroline, I love your description of your nobody. Every component of both your somebody and nobody embodied love and forgiveness, acceptance of your self. Despite the “suckiness of life”, your somebody AND nobody resides within the same nurturing cocoon. You are awesome!

  3. Dynamic Demo June 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM #

    Very interesting Kori… thought provoking and to the point. Thank you for your insight and calling it, like it is…

    • kpropst June 15, 2012 at 1:54 PM #

      Would love to hear what thoughts it provoked for you, D! 🙂

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