Last week, I reconnected with someone who was really close to me, but who hasn’t been in my life for three years. I found myself explaining things to him that are so normal to me now. I’d forgotten that he doesn’t know the me that I am today. I told him about my blogging, the saga of co-parenting and the drudgery of being single when you don’t want to be. Okay, the co-parenting thing never goes away and the single thing too, apparently, but the point is that the me that I am inside is different. When he knew me I was still grieving Mummy’s loss deeply and going through a divorce. I was shrouded in loss and quite frankly, I was living in a fog. Yes, I had a job. Yes, I was able to get out of bed every day, but I was numb. I didn’t feel things the way I feel them now. That shell of a person was the person he knew. He doesn’t know this person now. Just out of curiosity, I looked up my FB status from June 2011 to try and see who I was then. I wanted to see who was the person he used to know:
“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be in, for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” Sometimes I have to remind myself to think not what I have lost, but what I had been lucky enough to have.
Very telling, huh? Funny, looking at those pictures and reading the updates, I do remember feeling like my world was crumbling. I remember feeling lost and hopeless. The journey to where I am today was a long and hard one – I know it sounds cliche, but that’s really how it was! So now I’m here: I look the same, but I’m a new woman or at the very least, a different version of that woman.
You know what the major difference is? Before I crumbled, I was a rock. I had NO idea I could be crushed into a pile of pebbles. I had no clue that I could be stripped right down to the very essence of myself and all I would recognize was my sense of being a mother and the responsibility that came with that. I was so sure I knew myself and the things in my life then I lost almost everything: my mother, my marriage, the life I had built for myself, my career. I had to start over, building myself up, but I was no longer the original. I stand here today seeing myself with the tiny fractures, knowing that I’m never going to have that strong sense of self I had before. Now I know I am not perfect, I am not invincible, I am not TOUGH, I am forever changed. Anyway, the point is that three years have gone by and while I’m still the same person: hilarious and loyal, mother and friend, my insides have gone through a bit of a shake-up. It’ll be really interesting to see what differences my friend sees in me. We went back and forth asking the questions: same apartment? same car? All those material things are all the same, but the biggest changes are the ones I don’t have tangible evidence of, changes which is harder to see. I can’t explain them to him, he’ll have to see them himself. I guess it goes to show that life changes us and though it seems like nothing’s changed. Sometimes the biggest change is not what happened or didn’t happen, but it’s just our perception of self that gets overhauled. Just for fun, go on your FB (if you have one) and look at your status updates from 3 years ago and try to remember who you were then. Do you still have some of those clothes? Do you wear your hair the same as now: is it longer, is it shorter, same colour, same style? Do you have the same number of children? Do you have the same partner? Look at the tone of your updates? Do you still feel that way? Do you seem happier or sadder? It’s VERY telling. Let me know what you come up with! :0) V