Posted by: leigh | October 7, 2012

ramblings on a changing sense of self…

with the passage of time, life just keeps on happening whether you’re ready for it or not. some things change and some stay the same, but these life experiences never stop rolling in.

as the sum of my own experiences, i can’t help but change as i go through my days. i was on a pretty straight trajectory toward increased cynicism for a long damn time. i wasn’t one of those optimistic, fresh faced naive kids for long. life wasn’t too kind to me in my early years, but i kept on going. i discovered sarcasm, i learned how to fight, i grew my claws and i used them. i felt i needed all of these things to protect myself.

now my 30th birthday is coming up (geez. really?) and i am so different. i’m amazed i’ve made it this far. when i was younger, i felt it wasn’t worthwhile to plan anything because i didn’t hold the expectation that i would be alive for much longer at any given time. and looking back, i see that i lived my life accordingly and had to make big adjustments as my expectations turned out to be wrong. every couple of years i can see events in my life changing my outlook, my approach to life, my outward behavior, everything.

yeah, i’ve still gotten more cynical as the years go by. but perhaps more slowly than the alarming rate of my earlier years. and i’ve run a wide range of operating parameters, from a cold and calculating “get the fuck out of my way or i’ll run your ass over” persona to being someone’s everything when he can’t do much for himself.

you’ve got it: the biggest change, by far, was when my son was born. because now it isn’t about me anymore. he needs me to be there for him, to introduce the world to him. i worried about my ability to face some terrible memories that i was sure would come flooding back. instead, he has given me strength. and to be brutally honest, for the very first time in my life i have stopped questioning whether it was was truly worth fighting to survive those early years.

i welcome the challenges and changes the world has for me- and i know that 30 years from now, if i’m still alive, i’ll look back and again i’ll see such contrast. life offers few guarantees other than constant change.


Responses

  1. Pregnancy isn’t hard because you’re growing a whole new person.
    It’s hard because you’re growing two. And loosing one.

    My sense of self is pretty stable in a number of ways, but trying to figure out how to model optimism and kindness for the kid… that’s a continuous challenge. I don’t know that remaking yourself anew gets any easier over time, but you get more resigned to what it entails.

  2. interesting thoughts, becca. i’m not sure that i’ve lost myself per se, but i have changed a bit. i agree that being a good role model is going to be a lifelong challenge for me. but i suppose it’s a good challenge for me to undertake. and i hope i do alright for everyone’s sake.


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