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Who Am I?

I promise that question isn’t from some meltdown gone wrong.  It’s a question I still don’t know all the answers to…after all these months, I don’t think I’m any closer to an answer…and it’s a little frustrating.

Several months ago, I read an amazing blog post written by my friend Doug Devitre (and yes, normally I would create some cute nickname, but I totally want him to get credit for his blog).  He and I are buds now, but when I first read the blog, I had just met him…after reading it, I felt like I knew him, and he’s definitely a cool dude.  He really gets who he is, what he does, how he does it…the whole thing. 

And I was inspired…I wanted to write a blog like that…so that at the end, a person reading it had a pretty good picture of who and what I am…and I failed miserably…I couldn’t even begin to describe who I really was…past the basics, I mean – mom, check; daughter, check; ex-wife, check (ok, at the time I wasn’t that far along, but you know what I mean)…

That type of blog has become a goal…a big, fat, hairy goal…something so simple and it seems almost unreachable…almost…I do know one thing about myself and I am tenacious with a big, fat, hairy goal…I feel like if I can write that blog (maybe not quite as comprehensive as Doug’s) then I’ll be able to say, “Yes, I know exactly who I am.”

Every once in a while, I start to doubt myself…shocking, I know…I had a great conversation with BBFF tonight…I told him I wanted to be a strong woman instead of a scared girl…he wants it for me, which is sort of comforting…it’s not complicated, it’s not mind-boggling…I think most women want that…

Professionally, I grow stronger and more confident every day…I feel it within myself…the more I learn, the more knowledge I’m able to share with others, the stronger I become…and I love that feeling…personally, though? Hell if I know what I’m doing! I feel like that girl of 18 before I met The Ex who didn’t know what she was doing and was stumbling blindly through the world…and you see how well THAT turned out, right? I’m wiser now, for sure, and definitely more cautious…am I strong?  Probably…you can’t go through hell, survive it, and not come out at least a little stronger, right?

But who am I?  I’m still trying to figure that one out…

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Tired of Being Strong

I know I haven’t always been a strong person…but I didn’t just wake up one day feeling and acting strong, either…

I remember when I was a kid, crying at the drop of a hat – mean looks, mean words, whatever…I didn’t do things that were hard (more than once)…I didn’t do things that I was bad at (more than once)…I didn’t take chances…I didn’t step up.  I tried to fade into the background – in good times and bad…

Right about the time I met Almost Ex, I discovered that I had some amount of strength…and I’ve learned just how strong I am in the past 12 years…I can pin-point some moments very easily – when my dad was diagnosed with ALS, when he died 2 very short years later, when Almost Ex went into the hospital with a mystery ailment and ended up in a wheelchair for 6 months…when I moved back to Florida – pregnant and no other family but Almost Ex…when I got laid off for the first (and hopefully ONLY) time (as the sole source of income in our family, that was terrifying…)…when I told Almost Ex I wanted a divorce…when I dealt with the aftermath of that announcement…

Under different circumstances, I probably wouldn’t even admit that I have any sort of inner-strength…but hell, even I can see it in myself…and I’m tired of being the strong one…

Yet…

Not being strong (even for a little while) would mean having to rely on someone else…it would mean having to allow a certain amount of vulnerability…I don’t like to be vulnerable…I don’t know how to lean…maybe if I had leaned a little more over the last 12 years, I’d still be married…maybe if I had chosen someone I felt I could lean on, I’d have a different life…Note: yes, I understand the irony in the fact that I can be completely vulnerable in my own blog that others read but I can’t manage to be vulnerable IRL (in real life)…and I’m not really dwelling on the “maybe’s” because the best parts of the past 12 years are Aidan and Sean (no regrets)…

I’ve been stuck in my head over the past few days (more so than normal)…and I have to admit that it’s mental fatigue…I’m tired of always needing to be strong…I’m tired of feeling isolated…I’m tired of feeling lonely…I’m just tired…

But tomorrow, I’ll get right back up and keep going, full force, because that’s what I do…it’s who I am…and I don’t really know how to be any different…

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