Tangents of Found…

Erin Schaden
4 min readMay 14, 2022


I wrote yesterday about being lost. Today, perhaps I feel a little more found. I am not sure why, I just do. A little more ok with being in my skin. This morning I got to celebrate two women whom I admire, love and appreciate, I got to watch them ring in an entire year without drinking or drugging. One whole year. That is fucking amazing…

For those of you who are not alcoholics or addicts, probably not so impressive. But for those of us so afflicted, we celebrate the fuck out of it because we just did the thing that was unimaginable a year ago…staying away from booze and drugs for 365 days in a row. Fuck.

Today’s topic was “Ok being me…” Which is the kind of topic that would have made me panic, leave, bolster, lie before. I was never ok being me. I was fine being someone else…I mean, whoever I thought you wanted me to be. Whatever I thought, you thought, that I thought, that you thought that I should be…see how confusing it gets!?

What I know about my ever changing, chameleon life, was that it wasn’t really ever designed for you to like me, or to fit in better or to be more popular. It was designed to keep you away from me. It was a facade to keep out all intimacy. Push away connection, substituting in some other thing that I don’t even think there is a name for, some thing that passes as closeness but is really anything but…

All my lies, half truths and bolstering was designed to keep me safe. I could not be safe if you knew the truth, the whole truth, the unadulterated truth. So I used being someone else as a way and manner to keep you at a safe distance from me. And sometimes I still do.

But here is the magic. I don’t do it all the time anymore. I don’t have to do it, now it is more of a choice, whereas before it was a compulsion. There was no choice in it for me. If there was another person in proximity to me, I had a lie ready and waiting. Just get a little closer, and watch me go.

As I said, some days I can still go there. I can still feel like I need to lie to create a safe space between me and you. And, sometimes I will admit that I do it because I want to be liked. But I will also tell you that I care less and less about who likes me. It is one of the glorious gifts of aging. The older I get, the very few fucks I give about who likes me and who doesn’t. This is not to say that I don’t care, I do. But I have grown into a person, and this was a very painful process, that cares more about what I think of me, than I care what you think about me. And it is this fact more than any other that has caused me to be ok being me. To live relatively comfortably in my own skin.

It is all these tangents of found that I have accumulated, tiny fragments of myself that I used to litter and allow to be strewn about, I have been meticulously collecting them for years. Gathering, sorting, storing them, allowing them to be synthesized into this great bill ball of Erin. No longer diffused and spread about, I have gathered up myself and now benefit from the intentional curation of myself, for myself.

So today, most days, I am ok in the skin I am in. It will never be 100%. Ever. Like even on my best day. There will always be someone who is richer, hotter, younger, better at whatever, but there will never be anyone better at being me, than me.

It turns out that this is a full time job, this curation of me, by me, for me. And I would be neglectful to leave God out of all of this, I would be absolutely nowhere without a faith that works. I mean, literally, every single minute of my life. And I have learned to trust in this benevolent creator. To turn my will and my life over to the care while working diligently to align my will with higher power will…it has become the foundation of my days, all of them.

So many ongoing tangents of found being brought and pulled together to give me this beautiful life, where often I can sit back and study the landscape of my life and make new choices when old ones prove to be outdated or overused. I can sometimes, just enjoy the view with nothing to do or think or be other than what I am in that exact moment. It is a beautiful life with all these tangents of found. And I am grateful for all of them, each and every one.



Erin Schaden

Who am I? I am all that I write, all that I learn, share and grow. Read and find out? Check out www.nakedrandomthoughts.com for more.