Who am i?
One of my biggest challenges in the last two months (has it really only been 2 months?!) is "the world" telling me that i need to redefine who i am. The original definition of "redefine" that flew to my mind was to transform. But that's not what i need to do and i struggled for awhile figuring that out. i don't need to change who i am. The other definition, that has taken me a long time to realize (and will take even longer to apply) is "to reexamine or reevaluate."
Redefining myself does not mean deciding who i want to be and becoming that person. Neither does it mean labeling myself: "i am divorced." it means looking at who i already am as a person and coming to terms with it. It means being ok in my own skin. It means owning myself. It means discovering that i am different from other people and i am different from who i was a year ago and being alright with that. It means realizing that some of the "core beliefs" that i had are shaken and have already changed. Its coming to understand that changing my "core beliefs" changes what i think, how i feel, how i see the world, and who i am. It's defining what makes me angry, frustrated, excited, peaceful. Its more like rediscovering.
That's one of the reasons why (against many others' protests) i am not changing my name back to Wadsworth. i am not that person anymore. i am Jennifer Olson. And changing my name is not going to make me forget that i am who i am because of my marriage and now this divorce; it won't take away the years that i was married or the pain that i am going through right now.
Redefining is hell. It's painful because some of the things that i am now, i became because of Jacob. i have to face that truth and be ok with it. i need to be able to keep those virtues i gained while married even though he is no longer around to bring them out in me (and even though part of me wants to hate him). i have to learn that i don't have someone to be my balance and that i have to balance myself. Redefining hurts because i have to do it at the same time that i am trying to rebuild my life...but how can i know what to build until i know who i am? It's difficult because i am doing it all on my own while everyone else's lives move on. Because i had no choice. Because it is what it is.
What does all this mean for me? It means that the following things are on my "To-Do" List:
*Regain self worth. Because Jacob didn't feel like i was worth fighting for and that makes me feel worthless. Sure, many others exclaim "Oh but you are worth fighting for!" i think to myself, "Easy for you to say...you don't really have to fight for me." My best friend and eternal companion should have, but he didn't feel that i was worth the effort. And now there is me. It's hard to fight for myself when i feel so menial. i need to get to the point where i feel like i should fight for myself because i am worth it. And there is a lot of fighting that i have to do.
*Learn to be ok being on my own. i have been on my own before in many ways. After all, Jake was gone for quite a bit in our marriage. But this is different. Because in all reality...i am ALL alone, physically and emotionally. i don't complete anyone and no one completes me; i have to be complete by myself. i don't have a "better half;" i have to be my own whole. It doesn't matter how many friends and family say they are there for me; at the end of the day, i am going to bed alone. There is no one to whom i can tell everything that happened during the day; there is no one confiding in me. There is no one every night at bedtime thinking of me and sending love my way. i have to be my own best friend. i am the witness to my own life. Which means i have to like who i am and want to be around myself.
*Stop caring about what other people think. EVERYBODY has opinions and ideas of what i should be doing to recover, or what i should be doing to move on in my life, or what plans i should be making, or if i am handling my emotions correctly, or even where i will be after all this settles ("You'll find a great job! You will find someone who really loves you and cares about you!" Oh really? Trust me, you don't KNOW anything. Man, if i just had your crystal ball!) or what i should learn from this situation. I have to learn not to care about what other people think about me and my decisions; i follow my own gut and i deal with my own decisions.
These song lyrics are posted on my wall right now. Thank you, Enigma, for speaking to my soul.
"Don't be afraid to be weak;
Don't be too proud to be strong.
Just look into your heart my friend,
That will be the return to yourself,
The return to innocence.
If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry.
Be yourself don't hide
Just believe in destiny.
Don't care what people say,
Just follow your own way.
Don't give up and use the chance
To return to innocence.
That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself,
The return to innocence."