throughout last year, i watched myself grow into a stronger version of myself. it wasn't by choice. it wasn't something i set out to do. it happened on its own as the strain of 2009 almost got the best of me. at a great cost, i was standing up for myself; i was going with my gut; i was doing what felt right for me. amazing how much you can lose when you follow your heart (then again, i know it can go the other way as well). and, from then on out, i felt this great sense of determination and independence and strength. all the sudden and all at once.
i've noticed lately, though, that i'm quick to get defensive, and while i mostly blame myself, i also blame last year. even in simple disagreements, my defenses seem to take over. i'm defending my beliefs, my thoughts; i'm defending me. and because of last year, i'm taking it all to heart even more. i'm letting it be known that i won't be "messed with" (ha). even when i'm offered friendly help or advice, a voice inside my head says, "thank you, but i can do it myself." in a way, i don't want the outside noise getting in; i'm trying to listen to myself first.
you look back and see all the red flags you ignored (when you clearly weren't listening to yourself), promising yourself you won't make the same mistakes again. it can't happen again. and, suddenly, you realize it isn't so much about being hurt again. it's not that. that i think i could handle. it's about being determined to not lose yourself again; to not be made a fool out of again; to not be this altogether different person just to try and make it work. it won't work that way. if you don't know yourself first, it won't work, and it would have never worked, trying to be someone else. i know this only now.
instead, that same determination and independence and strength - they've taken the place of anger and bitterness and uncertainty; they've taken the wheel this time around with me, and only me, right behind them.
but now what? now, you've got to be you. the me from last year, and many years before it, is a very different me than who i am now. and it takes some time to get used to; to re-learn who you are; to get to know the new you. and, as determination kicks in again, you realize you'll get there, and for the first time in a long time, you're able to just enjoy the getting there.
commandment: call it a lesson learned.
[hey, let's all share. ha. send me your lesson learned.]