Naturally, I am the queen of procrastination. If I weren’t, I’d be working on my final assignment, which I just today realized is due on the 10th and not the 17th, not dwelling on the random thoughts that have been assaulting me of late. I think, though, perhaps they are all converging for a reason.
This year has been the hardest year of study yet. In fact, even outside of study it’s been hard. I’ve been challenged by the world, by my memories, by my assignments, by my writing. To push past barriers, to question who I am and what I stand for, to not stop when it’s difficult, to step past the hurt and damage and hardship and be really, brutally honest with myself.
Not about all things, of course, but many things, and once you start looking at the world like that, everything starts to change. I think as a result I am both more confident, and more anxious. I don’t know when this self-learning stops. I’m not sure it can be switched off, and my baseline fear is that it will change my life in ways I’m not ready for. My mother changed, dramatically, and when she was true to herself she had to leave my father. I just have to trust that my marriage can withstand my changes, that I was enough myself with my husband when we met that we will still work when I am changed*.
It feels like I am becoming. What, I am not sure. But something, something more than I am right now. It’s exciting, and raw, and fraught with a kind of tension that isn’t normal.
It’s slowly dawning on me that I set high standards for myself. I’ve been convinced my whole life that I half-ass everything. I am going to pin that on my father berating me for being a scruff, for never doing anything properly, never finishing tasks in the way that he deemed acceptable. I’m not up to scratch. I’m a mess. Sure. I’ve been living with this belief for 30+ years now. People have been holding mirrors up lately though, and I’m starting to see myself as they do – hard working, passionate, skilled, dedicated, caring, with a desire to do things well. It’s quite strange to see myself that way for a change. Moments of feeling like a success at anything have been fleeting. I think I like it. I can see myself becoming the things they think of me, or rather, I can see myself begin to believe that maybe those reflections are true. More true than my self-perception.
And that means that actually I get to make some informed decisions about who I am. I get to try things out, experiment with how I show my inner self to the world. This ‘becoming’ is huge for me. I’ve spent so much of my life being the girl everyone else told me I should be – being that proverbial good girl (it’s no wonder that song from Frozen makes me teary) – that it is well and truly time to shake those shackles off. At the end of the day I’m confident I’m still going to be awesome, caring, generous, kind, and hard-working among other things, but I’ll be those things because that’s me, not because I’ve been told I should be that way.
*I’m fairly confident this is the case, I even said as much in my wedding toast – that he’s the first man I could just be me around and feel like that was totally fine. There is something very special about that.