Who Are You?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Recently I had a friend ask me, "Who are you without a partner/relationship?" That question kind of slapped me in the face. I've always prided myself on knowing exactly who I was, what I want, etc. But maybe that's not true. Maybe I have put my happiness in the hands of someone else for far too long, and I'm constantly looking for that replacement - that person to build me up and love me because I'm unable to do so myself.

My friend further clarified for me - "without saying you're a mom, or a sister or a friend - who are you?" Well ...

Honestly? I'm not really sure.

Maybe that's my problem. Maybe after being in a relationship with someone for 8+ years you lose yourself - or you aren't really able to know yourself because you've been a "we" for so long ... you lose track of the "me." Then life whips on by and experiences come and go, and you get married and have kids and your "you" changes but now is defined by additional people in your life - little people who count on you to survive. So it's still no longer about who you are or what you want or need. It's about other people still defining you.

Then your marriage crumbles and your happiness is washed out and you realize how much you depended on another person to provide that happiness in your life. Sure, the divorce stuff is painful. But things that made you happy were always tied to someone else - their connection with you, the activities you did with them, etc. You never had a desire to do anything without them or do things that you enjoyed - what fun would that be? That's terrifying, folks.

So maybe my life post-divorce needs to be about finding "Ashley." It's been just a tad over a year since everything happened in my marriage, but I'm not even a year out from my divorce or a year out from when I moved out. I'm still in that newbie divorcee stage. And I'm still depending on others (my friends, kids, lovers) to provide my happiness for me. The thing on depending on other people to provide that to you is when they can't or when they take themselves away - you're left with nothing. Or at least you feel you are. You're not able to find the joy you bring into your own life. And you let that relationship dictate your day, your mood, etc. What a crappy way to live.

So, I honestly want to start figuring myself out and what makes me happy. Figuring out who I am and what I stand for. I'm worried about this adventure but I think it's important to happen. And I know as I work through it, I'll be a happier mom, friend, sister, lover, etc.

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