It is a basic condition of life: to be required to violate your own identity.

Change is permanent because things are always changing.

Tattoos are permanent because the mechanized needle forces pigment into the dermis layer of skin – since the pigment is too large to be removed by white blood cells, it simply stays.

So here I stay. And here I change.

Here I have a tattoo.

The pale, long-haired, Queen of the tutors pictured in the engagement photos from exactly one year ago looks in the mirror and wonders why this equally pale, tattooed, medical technologist with Zoe Deschanel fringe-banged hair is blinking blindly back at her.  It seems that they only thing they have in common is lack of sleep, coffee breath and winged black eyeliner.

I don’t know who I am anymore, but it’s the first time in a very long time that I’ve been okay with saying that out loud (or at least, seeing the words appearing on the screen). I always forget about the transition states.

In chemistry, the transition state has the highest amount of energy through the entire reaction – in a sense, it’s the oomph needed for the reaction to progress to completion.

transitionstatechem114a

However, it can be difficult to navigate.  You can put a lot of energy into something and still not go anywhere if you haven’t reached the transition state; there is actually a way to make that flirtatious transition state more attainable: enzymes.  Enzymes can lower the activation energy of a transition state in too many ways for me to describe in this little post.

Either way, I always struggle with the transition state.  You can throw the pre-wedding, pre-graduation, pre-adulthood Sydney into a pot with a degree, a husband, and a job in the field (right out of school, with benefits and PTO).  You can add an identity crisis, tear-filled showers, and homegrown herbs on a patio.  You can add a haircut.  But you will not end up with even the remotest semblance of a finished product.

There are so many people I need to become before I end up close to that “finished product.”  In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll never quite get there.  Regardless, I’ve finally found myself overcoming my social anxiety and introducing myself to the new person I see in the mirror.

She’s actually kinda nice.

I think I like her.

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