I notice patterns. Serendipity? More than mere coincidence, though it is fair to note that once you begin looking for something, you find it everywhere. In letting go of one identity, or, perhaps, the need for a clearly defined and quantified self, I have found the conversation, this search for definition, coming up in every conversation over the past week.

We all wear masks - the question is whether you will allow me to see behind yours. Or, more importantly, whether you know you wear one in the first place. I forgot, for awhile. For years it fit so tightly, so smoothly, that it became a mark of honor. Ingrained. I counted the mask as an accomplishment - look how quickly and quietly I can become...anyone. When I looked in the mirror I saw skin, but on camera the mask was inescapable. Staring back at myself, I knew all I had given up. All I had become. Through dedication and loyalty, hope and expectation. Fear and love. Once I finally saw her, I was more terrified than any hero faced with the snake-crowned Medusa. I was already stone. It took 4000 miles, two months of sunlight, humor, patience, and whole lot of pop music to finally crack the marble mask.