Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm Not THAT Girl

I have always aspired to be someone I'm not. In high school I wanted desperately to be that popular girl, that athletic girl, that mysteriously cool and aloof girl. I would try to change myself by changing my hair or my clothes, as though bangs would somehow transform me into a wicked-cool ultra fantastic person. I wanted so badly to be someone I felt that I was not.

In college I wanted to be someone again. I tried on personas as often as I changed my clothes. I was a nerd, a student government/ Greek/ leader. I was a smoker (gross). I was a poet (complete with emo/hobo chic clothes), and a party girl... oh, was I ever. I was also the depressed girl, the girl who wrote really twisted poetry and short stories about the bad things that happened to her. Instead of just trying to be someone different I actually was someone different. It was inauthentic. It gave me (and probably everyone around me) whiplash.

In graduate school I was lost. I moved home after graduation. At 24 I moved in with my parents and started commuting into the city to my first 'big girl' job. I stopped trying to be THAT girl and started trying to just BE. It wasn't easy but I got lucky. I was happily distracted; I met my husband. We got married and had our first handsome little guy. I was so unsure about parenting, so unsteady that I was nearly paralyzed by the fear of screwing up. I slipped back again. Trying to be a certain type of mother, certain type of wife. I poured over books and articles and blogs and tried to get Jack to sleep the right way, eat right, nurse right, play all the right games, learn all the right things. No matter how difficult (or utterly pointless) trying to be THAT girl in high school or college may have been trying to be THAT mom was worse. It was brutal and exhausting.

Recently, like, in the last few weeks, I suddenly feel no need to be some specific type of person. The rat race to find my identity seemed to have been called off. I'm not this, or that, or that girl, or that hot-mess-of-a-girl, or that mom, or the other mom. I'm just me. I am so much greater than the sum of my parts.

Meredith Brooks may have had it right. I'm a little bit of everything, all rolled into one.
I wouldn't have it any other way.

**I wrote this Saturday night, making it technically a 'late-night confession' but I saved it to post on Monday morning. Then Sunday in yoga we covered some really wild stuff which related beautifully to this post. But I can't do this all at once and do it justice. I'll write about Sunday's revelation very soon.

4 comments:

April said...

As women, we often pressure ourselves to prove that we can 'have it all'. The career. The family. The works. I too have suffered the whiplash. My God, is it exhausting. I am happy to hear that you are finding comfort in the one true YOU.

Anonymous said...

Your experience is what everyone else does (sometimes w/o realizing it)--growing up. Even those who THINK they know who they are at an early stage usually find themselves rethinking later on. Actually we are all constantly changing/ growing/ refining/ getting in touch with ourselves, we just call it different things. Congratulations on the place that you are now in!

Stage 2 is encouraging/ watching /empowering your children to do the same--and it's hard too! Just remember when they try out different "someones" that it's just part of the growing process-- and don't panic!

Gigi

Miranda said...

Hey! Just clicked over from the link-up and I'm glad I did. We ARE a little bit of everything and when we own that, we find a freedom we never knew could exist. and that freedom is empowering, isn't it?

Sluiter Nation said...

Ah! I love that Meridith Brooks song! and I totally agree with it...we are EVERYTHING all at once!