Holden Voices: Blog

Poems, stories, and reflections, written by faculty, staff, and volunteers currently serving in the Village.

BECCA CARCATERRA: How to be a person? HOW?

May 28, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Day 74

I’ve never liked the advice “Just be yourself.” Same with “Listen to your heart.”

A) It is physically impossible to be anyone but yourself at any time and B) if I’m confused about a decision, I’m not sure how to isolate which impulse is coming from an organ in my chest and listen to that one.

As I look towards the future, I’m trying to figure out who I want to be, where I want to be, and why I want that. I never want to leave the mountains, but is that escapism or being truthful my little solarcharged, nature-centric personality? I want to be successful but not stressed, helpful but not savior-complex-y, well-rounded but not scattered. And I’m having a lot of trouble distilling those vague visions into an actual, tangible path forward.

I oscillate between imaging myself in pencil skirts running a major nonprofit and somehow always having my hair in a perfect bun, and myself living off-the-grid, picking berries and never brushing my hair and briefly appearing to hikers before vanishing into the mist.

It’s hard to have ambition when you’re not even sure which direction you’re striving towards, without a clear metric of what would constitute success.

So here’s an alternate imagining of ambition: recklessly optimistic, climbing the ladder of generosity, cutthroat in pursuit of kindness. No, it’s not going to pay my bills or get me an apartment or tell me how to live my life. But I hope that it reminds me no matter which road I end up on, I can always choose how to walk upon it.

In peace,

Becca Carcaterra is Human Resources Assistant at Holden Village. This column was originally published on May 28, 2020 in a daily newsletter, "The Quarantine Quarter," which is compiled by various staff members and sent to all Villagers.