A little more about why I started this blog and named it 'Even Me.'
Six years ago, if you would have told me that when I was 28 I would be divorced, living in the same house I shared with my ex-husband, working at the same job, in debt, redefining (again) the direction of my life AND incredibly happy while doing it- I wouldn't have believed you.
I was absolutely positive that I was on the right track. I was newly married, finishing college and on my way to be a successful CPA. I had life all figured out. I owned a house, my husband was starting a business. We were going to be happily married forever, have a couple kids and everything would be perfect.
Then things changed.
My marriage fell apart in an instant (literally) and I found myself in a house I couldn't afford. Feeling very lost. And very much alone.
I borrowed some money to pay my bills until I get a roommate or a second job. I filed for a divorce and met someone new. I started over. I had done this before (gotten out of a bad relationship) and I knew I would be okay. I didn't grieve over my failed marriage. I loathed it. I took my feelings to an angry place and buried them. I felt duped and embarassed.
A couple years past. I was dating someone. My family liked him a lot. I felt like I was redeeming myself a little. Maybe THIS time it would work out.
And then you know what?
And you know what else?
I made the choice this time to end it.
Just like I made the choice to end my marriage.
A pattern had emerged.
Once again, I found myself with someone who really cared a lot less about me than I did about them. Someone who wasn't supportive of me. Someone I had allowed to define the way I feel about me.
I was sick of being angry and unhappy and lost. Tired of trying to force something that just wasn't in the cards for me.
For as long as I've been in relationships, I have allowed other people to mold and shape my opinions of myself. I've allowed others to always put their needs, wants and desires ahead of mine. I've sat back and allowed them to take and take and take.
I came to the realization that I really didn't know myself at all. And I hadn't for a long time.
And being with that person (who could be anyone really because I essentially dated the same person for years- just different names) was not healthy for me.
Even I deserve to know myself.
Even I deserve to have someone genuinely care about me..
Everyone deserves good in their life.
Everyone deserves a chance to be happy.
To do things that fill them with joy.
To be unique and proud of it.
To own their needs, wants and desires.
To not be afraid of carving their own path.
And so began this transformation of sorts. I've spent a lot of the past 2 years just trying to figure 'me' out.
What do I want out of life?
What makes me happy?
What do I like? What did I like to do before I became who everyone else wanted me to be?
What unhealthy things/habits/thoughts/people in my life need a second evaluation? Possibly a dismissal?
When I look in the mirror, what do I want to think about the face staring back at me?
Allowing other people to infiltrate your psyche and mold your opinions over a period of life-defining years is pretty damaging to your self-confidence. It's difficult to trust yourself when you've spent your entire life trusting on others for your happiness.
I've spent a lot of years trying to be who (I thought) everyone thought I should be. Or doing what I thought society said I should do. I've also spent a lot of years being unhappy.
Once I recognized the pattern I set up in my life- clinging to a person and looking to them as my end all and be all- I started doing a lot of self-reflection. Soul searching. I've learned a lot:
- There is nothing wrong with wanting to try new things.Variety is the spice of life. There are so many opportunities for adventure in the world. I'm not afraid of stepping outside my comfort zone. Doing the same thing all the time is boring. Having diverse friends and interests keeps life interesting.
- I love to talk. Good conversations with good people make for great memories. If I'm feeling confused or sad or happy, I want to talk about it. And you know what? There are a lot of people who want to listen. And join in.
- Negativity is a waste of time. Everyday and every situation, I have the choice on how I feel about it. When I wake up in the morning, I can CHOOSE to make it a good day. No matter what circumstances may come about- I'm in control of my happiness. Negative thoughts and people are not worth the effort.
- Owning up to being who you are is hard. I've realized that not everyone likes who I am. Or agrees with me on my thoughts about life. And that's okay.
- There is no such thing as normal. Or a prescribed path for life. What my 'normal' is may be very abnormal for someone else.
- Baby steps (Thanks, T). Everything can't happen right now. It doesn't need to. Rome wasn't built in a day. Lasting change, commitment and healing is a progression. Embrace the journey.
- Smoking is expensive, smelly and unhealthy. I don't look good doing it either.
- Food is for fun and for fuel. Find a balance.
- Self-confidence is priceless. Having unshakable love for yourself is not easy. Everyone struggles with it. I'm not alone there. Being proud of who you are and loving yourself- physically and emotionally- is the most attractive quality a person can have.
- I don't like rap music that much. Or NASCAR. Or watching 15 hours straight of Sportscenter. And I don't have to. It's okay to have my own interests separate from whomever I'm dating. I don't have to pretend to like stuff I really hate. It's not going to make someone love me any less.
- Compromise. If any relationship- friend, family, significant other, work- is one sided, get out. It's not worth your time.
- Spending time alone is important for your well-being.
- Having a plan doesn't mean anything. Life often takes it's own course and fighting against it will only make any unforeseen circumstance worse. Learn to go with the flow.
- I'm not always right. Often I'm wrong and should apologize. But sometimes I am right. And I shouldn't apologize for doing what I know is right. Know the difference.
- Nothing lasts forever. Anything that seems to good to be true or utterly unbearable will eventually change. Life has a balance to it. An evenness.
I'm not telling you that I did some self-reflection, had some great epiphany and now I'm 100% happy and positive all the time. I feel like a lot of blogs are all 'sunshine and rainbows' and to me, that's not real.
I still struggle with being comfortable in my own skin.
I'm still learning to listen to my inner voice.
I'm not completely sold on 'me' yet.
'Even Me' is about- well, me. :)
I'm just living life and trying to do it from a place of self-love, acceptance, happiness and balance. I feel like sharing about my day to day life, both positive and negative moments, is just as therapeutic and cleansing to me as it is for someone reading it.
Maybe you're already there and reading my blog reminds you of how you got to that place. Or maybe you're not ready to admit that you've been living your life for a zillion different reasons or people and reading my blog is helping you on your journey to balance.
Whatever the case may be, I believe everyone deserves the opportunity to be their best, authentic self.