Saturday, December 13, 2008

Know Thyself...

Someone recently said to me that I didn’t know who I was. Since it came from a family member, I was a little perturbed at the thought. Did I know me? Was God up there somewhere looking down and having a great laugh at my obvious oblivion to now knowing me? And the more burning question of if I didn’t know myself then did I really know anybody else?

I know that these are big questions. They are things that I struggle with. I struggle because I know that in my past, there have been times that I haven’t been myself. I don’t think that I’m the only person that struggles with these things, or has become less of themselves in the past in order to please someone else. I think that for the most part, this is a common thing among us, so it lead to me writing about it.

I’ll admit something to you. If you’ve read my brief bio, then you know that I mention a fiancé. That’s right, I’m engaged. But what isn’t in that brief bio is that this isn’t my first time to be engaged. I’ve been married before….twice. Yep, this will be my third trip down the aisle. Most days, I’m not ashamed of this fact. The first one happened when I was VERY young, and didn’t really know any better. I was just figuring out who I was, let alone who this person was that I was married to – it’s not really gonna take a rocket scientist to figure out why that one didn’t work out. Since we both walked away with minimal damage and no children, there are days that I don’t even count that one.

My second marriage is a different story. I made a grave mistake when I decided to get married, and I married for reasons other than the right ones. There were other circumstances surrounding my decision to marry again, and they clouded my judgment. Basically, I don’t know WHAT I was thinking! But then again, I’m not alone in this either – we’ve all done things that we wonder how the heck did that happen? The difference is that I had a child with this man, a beautiful child that I cherish more than my own life. And for that reason, when I realized my mistake, I couldn’t just walk away.

And because I stayed, I let myself go. No, I didn’t get all big and gross without fixing my hair or doing my make-up. I let myself go emotionally. I quit caring about who I was and who he was and how he treated me. I told myself that it was ok that I couldn’t see me, the real me, anymore in the mirror – that that’s just what happens as you grow up and mature. You become a different person, and I told myself that it was ok.

Luckily for me, and for my daughter, there was a day when I realized my own self worth again. There did come a day when I broke away from the bad relationship that I was in. There came a day when I realized that I did deserve to be treated better and that I missed myself. That I was a good person.

Since that day, I’ve spent over a year in therapy and the last two full years finding me again. Being happy with who I am, the person that I’ve become and being proud of the things that I can accomplish on my own. I have to admit it….I like me. And that’s a good thing!

So when someone comes up to you after all of that hard work and says that they don’t think that you know who you are, what do you do with that?

Me, being the nice person that I am, listened patiently to this person attempt to make her point. I like to think on the positive side of things, and I choose to believe that the things that she said to me, although causing me some pain, came about because she cares about me and what happens to me. I know, I know. That’s a totally Pollyanna approach to life, but when you’re faced with something like this, I only see two choices. Do what I did and listen patiently and try to take what they’re saying to heart and at the same time comment back politely about why you think they’re wrong….or kill the bitch.

I took the road less traveled. We’re family after all….

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