By Lin Brehmer

Jenn of McHenry wrote, Hi Lin, I am submitting this for my 11-year-old daughter Evie, who obsessively listens to Lin’s Bin and wanted me to ask, “how does it feel to be you?”

Having never won an Olympic gold medal or heavyweight boxing championship, I never have a microphone shoved in my face with journalists asking, “How does it feel?”
How does it feel?

I feel the ebb and flow of my shattered circadian rhythms. A kind of manic depressive tension between bone-bending fatigue and pure exhilaration.

For all us, the great challenge is to be honest about the way we feel.

We have an unspoken social contract with the human race to lie a little bit when someone asks how we feel. Otherwise, we become the neighborhood prophet of doom. In our hours of darkness, we forget about the light.

How does it feel to be me? I think much of what we feel has little to do with ‘self,’ it has to do with physical and psychological stimuli. Our commonality as humans means we feel the same.

Insecure. Frustrated. And if we’re lucky, outraged.

I feel most encounters are a test to see if we can make someone smile. When someone at the checkout counter asks, “How are you today?”

I reject the obligatory response. I like to say “FANTASTIC.” Judging from the reactions, this is a surprising response.

How does it feel to be me? My head is stuffed with references, cultural antecedents, musical allusions. It feels like my conversations are doors that lead to a memory.

Which in turn transports me to a song,

How does it feel to be me? I feel fortunate. A great sadness can always be tempered by the people I trust. As a creature of radio, my best intentions are occasionally subverted by misinterpretation or disagreement and in those moments I feel vulnerable.

Kindness is never a reciprocal guarantee. But it is often its own reward. How does it feel to be me? I feel like a creature who denies his own mortality.

How does it feel to be me?

I feel like a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces have warped over the years so that a complete picture is almost impossible. I feel like Icarus in free fall. I feel like I don’t want to run out of time. I feel like a messenger and a passenger. But most of all, I feel like it’s great to be alive. And to you, my 11 year old listener, that last line is the only thing you need to remember.


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