A funny thing happened to me when I went on this trip.
I think I found myself.
I know that sounds strange. But I was at a place where I didn’t feel I belonged. And some things happened that made me question myself. My actual self worth. My identity. My worthiness and significance.
You see I feel certain in my place in the afterlife. I know where I’m going. I know where my faith lies. But it has always been incredibly difficult to translate that into my fleshly life here on earth… My actual day to day who I am kind of life. There are a few definites for me that I know without question. I am to be, and want to be, a loving, honest, humble, helpful, resourceful wife to my husband. He is to be the same to me. I am to be a mother to my children, who teaches, corrects, meets earthly needs, leads, and loves, hugs, and kisses. I am to attempt to forward my relationship with God.
That’s where all the certainty ends though, you see. The other, seemingly unimportant things have thwarted me. The superficial things. Things like how I look. Things like what other people think of me.
I came to a place this weekend where I felt that I didn’t fit in, wasn’t worthy. And the thought astounded me. I didn’t used to care what others thought – and further, certainly didn’t allow my perception of their thoughts to dictate my actions and reactions. I realized this weekend that I did. And that had been going on for a very long time. I realized that I had no style, was frumpy, in ill-fitting clothes that weren’t me. I knew that my hair was going all over the place due to the weather and that it was too “big” – curly hair can do that. I was trying to make myself invisible. Because I knew that I didn’t fit in, and therefore it was best not to be noticed at all.
Back when I was comfortable in my skin, I didn’t care. I didn’t care if I looked like the “right” kind of mother. The “right” kind of Christian. The “right” kind of insert-age-here.
But this weekend I met someone, and felt like I totally hit it off with her. And this person is incredibly theologically and politically different than me. And I was completely comfortable with her. Even though I know she probably disagrees with half if not more of what I believe. But it doesn’t matter, you see. She knows I probably disagree the same amount with what she believes. And just hung out with me anyway. And chatted. And was (I hope) just as comfortable. I went to the arcade today, too. And was watching someone play a suped up version of an old school fighting game. I think it was a cross between Mortal Combat and Tekken. And I was COMFORTABLE. I was thinking – Oh! He picked Chung Li… Can he do the combos? Will he win? I would have picked Anna, myself. And I watched them finish the match. I moved on to the Girl Gamers booth. Had a conversatsion with the chick there. Told her my addiction of choice was World of Warcraft. She asked if I watched The Guild and we started talking about the lead girl in it, and how we saw her, how cool, and this chick runs a gaming show and interviewed her. She asked what level I was. I told her 80 and her eyes got big – and I was COMFORTABLE. I knew why here eyes got big. I’m a girl gamer. I had a conversation with a gentleman who acts like a total tweaker, but we started talking old school bbs, and smoked… When he saw me later, he stopped me to give me a couple of Canadian made ones, just because. And I was COMFORTABLE.
I started arguing with myself. What do I do? I’m a writer. Ok. Business owner. Ok. Wife and mom. Ok. While I could do all those things better, certainly, they don’t make me unfortable. So, check, yes, they’re me. Fine. So, what are some things I want to do? I want a pink/purple streak in my hair. Gosh, Michele, you can’t do that. You’re a mom. What will they think at school? You have graying hair. Grow up. Stop being ridiculous. But guess what? All the colors of the rainbow hair is me. I’m going to do it. Get another tattoo – same arguments. Tattoos are still me. I love the ones I already have. Repierce my eyebrow. Are you KIDDING? You’re almost 34! You go to little league!! Guess what. Still me. And I’m repiercing my eyebrow. Probably this weekend. Probably tonight.
Then I called my husband. Told him about some of the things this weekend that happened, and how they made me feel. His reply? “Michele, I love you just as much now as when we married. But when we married, you had purple hair, and more tats than me, and you knew who you were. I’d rather go back to when you knew who you were.”
And I marched upstairs, put my hair in pigtails (Michele! You’re 33 with gray hair. You can’t do that and be serious!) And went downstairs, in public. And you know what? It’s me. It’s COMFORTABLE.
I called my husband again, and told him I wanted to get another tattoo or get my eyebrow pierced. He said not to get the tattoo. Get the piercing. Why? Because he wants to help design the tattoo. But that if a phrase slays me in what I want my life motto to be, to go ahead and do it – otherwise, wait for him. And I GOT THAT.
That’s my husband – the one I am COMFORTABLE with. He gets me.
What led me astray from myself?
What led me astray from confidence in myself?
I don’t know – I don’t understand. Was it becoming a mother? Because you do lose yourself in the beginning as you alter your life in order to be responsible for a new one. Small defenseless human – of course you chart a new life. Is that when I lost my reflection? But I’m finding myself now. 8 Years later. And I think I like the me that’s coming out.
Even if you don’t.
The Is this a midlife crises? by Sparks and Butterflies, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.