Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How I became... myself again

I am starting a new series of Guest Posts by some people in my life.  Some have blogs and some don't, but they all have a story of how they became better.  I hope you enjoy a few other voices here on my blog.

Today we hear from one of my other very best friends in the world!  Sometimes we go about life and by the time we stop to look at it again, we aren't who we thought we were.  Then what do we do?  Read on.

Everywhere but here?  Photo Credit:  Will Ockenden

I never thought I’d be the kind of girl that did/said/acted however my man wanted me to. But
that’s what happened when I met the man that would become my husband. After we started
dating, and especially after I moved in with him and we got married, I became absorbed in our
relationship. I blew off family and friends, and I let myself be completely consumed by him
and our life together. Somewhere in the six years of our married life, I lost my way. I became
passive, I did whatever he asked me to do, I supported every decision he made (even if I didn’t
agree with it), and I was there whenever he needed me to be. I compromised my own wants
and needs for the sake of his. The more of me that slipped away, the more we started slipping
away from each other, and I didn’t even realize it.

When my husband asked me for a divorce I felt blindsided, even though I knew on some
level we were having problems. But several days later, once I got over the initial shock of it,
I realized I wasn’t really that upset. That was when I finally stopped denying it and admitted
to myself that my feelings for him were gone. We had grown too far apart and I had been
unhappy. Acknowledging it was like lifting a weight off my shoulders. As the weeks drug on
and my daughter and I started settling in to our new lives, I started taking a good look at myself
and who I had become over the past few years. I found I wasn’t happy with the new version
of myself. How had this happened? Why had I allowed myself to become this person I barely
recognized? I decided this change in my life was an opportunity to find the person I used to be.
Instead of letting it get me down, I was going to use it to recreate myself.

I spent the next few months doing a lot of soul-searching and thinking about what I wanted out
of life. I didn’t plan to jump right into another relationship. Instead, I thought about what had
made me unhappy in the last one. What did I want out of my next relationship? What kind of
person did I want to spend the rest of my life with? I knew before I could answer that question, I
needed to ask myself what kind of person I wanted to be. I knew I didn’t want to be submissive,
I didn’t want to be a doormat, and I didn’t want to eat, sleep and breathe someone else’s life.
I wanted to be strong and confident, I wanted to express myself, I wanted to be treated as an
equal, I wanted to be independent, and I wanted to make my own decisions without worrying
if the other person would approve. Finally I knew what I wanted and for the first time in a long
time, I was happy. I was a better mom to my daughter. I was able to relax and have fun. I was
more carefree. Once I was content with the direction my life was headed, I decided to start
dating again.

When Mr. Right came along (we’ll call him J), I started to believe that old saying that everything
happens for a reason. We’ve been together for almost two years now, and I’ve never been
happier. There are times when I try to revert to my submissive self, but J won’t let me be that
person anymore, and that’s one of the many reasons I love him. When I try to let him call the
shots, he turns it around on me and makes me do it. He makes me laugh every single day.
When I get down, he immediately finds a way to cheer me up. He’s patient when I’m frustrated.
He’s mellow when I’m wound. He treats me like an equal. He helps make me a better person.
I could easily go on and on about how wonderful he is and all the things I love about him, but I
won’t turn this in to a romance novel. Instead, I’ll finish with the following thoughts.

It’s been a struggle to find myself again, and while I know I’m not quite there yet, I’m well on
my way. I feel that I am truly blessed and I thank God for bringing me to where I am now,
and for helping me get back to who I was. God had a plan for me, even if I didn’t see it at
the time. Finding J and being lucky enough to have him in my life has made everything that
has happened over the past 2 ½ years totally worth it. My journey hasn’t been easy, but the
struggle has only made me that much stronger. I know I still have a lot of growing to do, and I
look forward to the challenge. I’m going to face it head on. I’m not going to back down. I will
become the strong, confident woman I know I can be.

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