Saturday, May 27, 2017

# container garden # crafting

Finding Me

Sometimes something someone says gets stuck in my head and I can't get rid of it. It sits there, tugging at my thoughts, pulling at my emotions, until I give it the attention that it desires and perhaps the attention that I need to give it. After all, if it's there, it must be there for a reason, right?

In this case, a man that I was involved with a few years ago, perhaps more now, wrote me this rather horrible email to not only end our relationship but to end any association he had with me. Honestly, it was cruel and below this person, but that's not what this post is about. It's about what he said to me in that email that has hung around in my head for all these years and the fact that I'm finally at a point where I can deal with it clearly and without wasted emotion. After all, emotion is wasted on someone who was flat out cruel to you.

I'm not going to directly quote him because honestly, I have no desire to open that email. The gist of what he said was that I'm not me. I'm not someone who stands for anything or has her own beliefs. I'm merely someone who morphs herself into whatever she thinks the other person wants. I'm nothing more than a mimic.  Harsh, huh?

That one single idea has stuck with me ever since I read it and I wondered if it was true. Who am I? I'm reminded of this quote from the movie Music and Lyrics:

"Since then, every time I pick up a pen, I'm haunted by those words that he wrote, you know? "She was a brilliant mimic. She could ape Dorothy Parker or Emily Dickinson, but stripped of someone else's literary clothes, she was a vacant, empty imitation of a writer.""

Stripped of other people's interests and beliefs, who am I? You see, he was right in a way. I do tend to take on the interests of those I care about. Do I do it to define me? No, I don't think that I do. I do it to have more in common with them, to learn about new things. Rob is a perfect example of this and someone who, on the tiniest off chance that he ever read this, wouldn't care if I used him as an example.

Rob was/is very much into roller derby. Me? I knew next to nothing about it. When I'd visit him, if one of his friends stopped by, they'd sit and talk about it and I'd be left out because I knew nothing about it. I hated that. It was also something he was very passionate about so I wanted to know more. I downloaded and read the complete rule book. They teased me that the next thing they knew, I'd be some sort of official. The reality is that I never intended on playing myself or getting involved. I just wanted to know more. I'm still holding out for Rob to take me to my first bout.

Did I change myself into a derby girl because Rob was into derby? No. Some would point out that I did go and buy a pair of skates. I did. I still have them though due to illness, etc I haven't used them since right after I bought them. Skating is fantastic exercise and a lot of fun. It was something I could do on my own or go with Rob to do when I was visiting him. Was it because of him that I looked into it? Yeah, it was. Did it change anything? Not really.

So where am I going with all of this? I guess I'm going to the part where I say Stuart was right. Over the years, I've molded myself at times. My upbringing caused that. If I wasn't what was wanted, things happened. When I was with the boys' dad, that continued. Please don't misunderstand. He never raised a hand towards me, but he knew what buttons to push to get me to be or do what he wanted.

Then, I was on my own. I was no longer his wife. I no longer had an identity. I didn't know who I was. So, over the years since then, I guess I've explored options. With Rob, I explored the idea of skating and I discovered that it was something I enjoyed. I totally sucked at it, but I enjoyed it. With others, it may have been certain television shows or hobbies. Does that mean that I continued to morph? Perhaps, but only to the smallest extent. As someone who had no idea who they were anymore, what their interests were or what they wanted to do/be in life, it was a way to discover the answers to those things. I discovered that no matter how much someone else liked it, I just could not get into Buffy, but that I loved Doctor Who. I realized that I do kind of like certain types of science fiction. I found a tiny piece of me.

I tend to think of myself as one of those jigsaw puzzles that have 10,000 pieces and each time I discover something, a tiny piece slides into place. With enough exploration, I may find me again. I think that I started my container garden a number of years ago because Rob or someone was growing tomatoes and it gave me an additional connection to him. It also allowed me to discover that dirt therapy is really good for me. Does Rob still grow tomatoes? Heck if I know. I do know that right now, there are 8 plants on my front porch that I need to water later today.

There are also things that I do simply because they're a part of me. I love to craft. I've been making things since I was a child and while I don't do it as much these days it's not because someone has frowned on it. It's simply because I got in my own way and now I need to clear that out so that I can get back to it. Nick once told me that coloring is my therapy...crafting always was and I suspect it always will be. I can't draw but I can still create in my own way.

Which brings me to writing...another thing that I've done for as long as I can remember. In fact, if you asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I'd tell you that I want to write. It's another thing that I'm just plain getting in my own way of. Will I ever be famous for writing? Probably not. Could I be successful at it? Probably. It's my own fears that are getting in the way of that, but that's probably another post for another day. It's another one of those thoughts that have been bumping around in my head lately.

What does this all mean? It means that you may see me becoming interested in something that you do. I may try it out for a little bit. I may discover that I love it and stick with it. I may discover that it's not me and leave it. Either of those things is okay. The only way to truly discover if something is me is to try it. I'm not mimicking, I'm exploring and exploration is healthy. It's good.

In order to reclaim me, I have to find me.


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