I often get asked why I’ve made the decisions that I have in my life.
“Why did you move cities?”
“Why did you marry the person you did?”
“Why did you get divorced?”
“Why did you get into the career you’re in?”
My Adult Past attempts to explain:
For a long time I didn’t know the answers. I thought I knew. I was an adult; making decisions like I was supposed to. This is what adulting is supposed to be, right?
I would think it through; weigh up loss versus gain or I would allow myself to make decisions on someone else’s needs. Sometimes they were based on logic, intuition or emotion.
There were decisions based on short-term wants or long-term goals.
Regardless, I never, not once, thought any of it was for or about finding out who I am. Because as an adult, we’re supposed to know who we are, right?
Adulting to me was about thinking. Making decisions. Being in control.
Until one day I felt angry.
Absolute red hot anger.
I hadn’t felt this anger in years. I didn’t know where it had disappeared or where it had hidden all these years or how it all arrived at once. But what I did know was that it was a good anger. It made me happy. It reminded me of who I used to be.
More importantly it allowed me to stand up for myself; something I stopped caring to do years before. All those years of going with the flow and convincing myself this was more important than being confrontational.
That aggressive, fiesty, cheeky teenage girl had disappeared and it wasn’t until I felt that anger did I realise how much I missed her.
My Adult Present Says:
I no longer feel like I’m dead inside.
Like I’m just going with the flow because life is too hard.
I feel more alive and more like the ME I want to be.
I’m back to speaking my mind and standing up for myself. The difference now is that I do it in a more thoughtful manner compared to when I was 21.
This is what making all those decisions led to; it led to me learning how to be who I wanted to be unapologetically, more about who I am and accepting parts of me I love that others may dislike. And if they dislike it, that’s okay. If people I love do not love me for me, then we can love each other separately.
I’ll talk about my emotions and I’ll talk about my religion and I’ll talk about my spirituality and I’ll talk about my triggers. And I’ll trust that whoever is listening is adult enough to talk too, unless they try make me Dead Me again.
And that’s what growth is:
It isn’t about going to back to the Old Me. The Old Me is how I got to the Dead Me in the first place…moving from one extreme of being outspoken and aggressive to then losing my voice completely.
It’s about reaching the Balanced Me.
So why did I make the decisions I made?
To learn to appreciate who I am.
And to let go of those who prefer the Dead Me.
“I am working on learning how to be whole and free within myself, to acknowledge my brokenness, manifest my own happiness, and succeed and fail gracefully.” – Beau Taplin