Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way
But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day
Jodi Mitchell’s words speak to me…
After 7 weeks of public musing – 50 days – perhaps something personal is appropriate…
1. I am unique. I have lived a unique life. I have a unique marriage, family, career, and experience of life. There is no one who thinks, speaks or acts like me.
2. I accept who I am – my strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, the choices I have made, the things I haven’t achieved. I still love my Christian faith because it reassures me that I am accepted by God – so I can accept myself.
3. I am proud to be me. God chose to make me. The things that I can do and have done. I am here. Now. In this situation. I don’t have to hide or be embarrassed.
‘The Greatest Showman’ tells of Barnum, the 19th-century showman. Lettie Lutz, the bearded lady, sings:
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
Gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
4. I don’t understand myself. I identify with the ‘human oddities’ who perform in Barnum’s circus. I am flawed. I have regrets. I am vulnerable. I have messed up parts of life that I can’t or won’t change. I am a contradiction.
I’ve looked at life from both sides now,
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall.
I really don’t know life at all.
Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell (1967)
This is me by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul – from ‘The Greatest Showman’ (2017)