“First the breaking, then the rising.” Glennon Doyle
I used to tell myself a whole bunch of lies. I had this vision of who I was, an immovable personality structure that influenced everything. My partnerships, friendships, familial relationships, and how I moved through the world were in orbit around who I thought I was. I was fixed, learning and growing sure, but learning and growing as a particular person. A representative that was poised and polished and traditionally beautiful, and I would send her out into the world.
Who I was (my most secret, true, and honest self) was tucked away. Still there, always there, listening but not participating. My real self was too much for the world. Too emotional, loud, brave, wild, opinionated, sexual, passionate, angry, awake, happy and big- the world doesn’t like big and bold and passionate girls and women- so I continued to send my representative out into the world.
She smiled and waved, cared and loved, had good times and bad times. She lived well, but when she came home at the end of the day, in the quiet and truth, she was so tired. My true self would pat her on the head and thank her for getting us through another day in this world that doesn’t like brave, wild girls.
My representative isn’t here anymore. Slowly but surely over the past few years she has been unraveling. Each blow to my representative, to who I though I was, who I thought I should be, gave way to the real me hiding underneath. As I allowed pieces of the forward facing me to fall away, it would leave a spot for my truest, deepest self to step into the light. Graduate school, losing my dad, coming out, finding my life partner, having my beautiful baby, transitioning jobs, listening to podcasts, reading books, having conversations with amazing, real people- all separate moments, smaller parts of a greater whole.
The universe was speaking to me, asking the question, “Who are you when all else falls away?” That is, after all, who we really are. At the end of things, after this beautiful, brutal life- we’re all that’s left. The me that’s here now? Inside and out? I like her. I really like her. Love her even. I love who I have become, who I am becoming- I’m not done.
Small change over time becomes big change. What lies are you telling yourself? What is your representative telling the world about you that isn’t true deep in your heart, in your gut. Our representatives protect us, they keep us safe in times when we need them- I don’t need mine anymore.