Pages

Being Me

Today I'm linking up with Patricia's blog hop In Other Words
where the creative writing prompt for this past week is the following quotation:

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are"
-ee cummings
~*~*~*~*~*~
When we are young our primary focus is to fit in, and to be a part of the group.  However, it didn't take me long to figure out that I was never going to fit in very well, and certainly wasn't going to be one of the popular kids or the "in group".   A move from one small town to another in the middle of first grade made it obvious that friendships, groups, and rankings had developed as early as kindergarten.  At that age one really doesn't think much about who they are, or what sets them apart, it is just a sense of belonging or not belonging.  However I usually managed to have a friend or two throughout my school years, and sometimes a small group of friends comprised of people that were more on the sidelines, like me.

My junior high and high school years were a time of great social and political upheaval in our country, the Vietnam War was raging, and many of us began to question the "rights and wrongs" we had been taught.  I often found my beliefs and values at odds with those of my parents and sometimes with those of my fellow classmates, but by then I had developed a sufficiently hard outer shell to stand firm when I met with opposition.  I learned at that point not to care what others thought of me.

By the time I started college I was already married.  Who I was and what I believed tended to mirror my husband's image and the causes he stood for.  My second and third marriages were also to very controlling and verbally abusive men, and I learned to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself in order to avoid additional conflict.  I did what they wanted, ate what they liked, chose what they preferred for household furnishings, etc.  Looking back now I shake my head at how blindly I was led down a path of losing my own identity in order to assimilate theirs. 

It wasn't until I left my third husband that I began to rediscover me, and that has made all the difference in my life. It takes courage to stand up and say "No, I don't believe that" or "I choose not to be a part of that."  It takes courage to listen to your own voice and not be dissuaded by popular belief or crowd mentality. It takes even more courage to say, "That is who I was in the past, but it is not who I choose to be now." 

Now I am with a husband who loves me as I am.  I don't have to be anything other than that to please him.  I am free to have my own thoughts and beliefs that sometimes differ from his, though we share the same value system.  I have lived three-quarters of my life now; through hard lessons learned I have come to know what I want and what I stand for, and to be very much at peace with that.  For the most part I like myself and I'm content with who I am.  It feels very good to finally be the real me!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for your insight into becoming.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's wonderful that you have come to this point, some people never do.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is interesting that so many of tried so hard during our school years to fit in. Some tried to fit in being copy cats and clones of the popular kids. Others went in the other direction it did everything could to be different to be noticed. With age comes wisdom and at some point all that seems silly and we learn to like who we are. Your story tells the tale so well. Accept yourself and others will respect you and love you just for who you are.

    You have added insight and wisdom to my little hop, thank you. You are always encouraging with your stories be they fiction ot non-fiction, fantasy or memoir.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)