Hmmmm… that’s a difficult one.
Who are you?
I am branching out here and choosing not to do the ‘safe for me’, graphic design option. Instead I want to use this opportunity to find out more about me, who I am now and where I want to go from here.
My first thoughts are quite painful, because I often feel that I am no-one, defined only by the other people in my life, and my relationship to them. I sometimes feel that if they were not there then there would be no me. I think this may be a common feeling with other women too, especially long time single parents. A huge part of our life has revolved around the needs of others, but with no one to care about our needs.
I guess most of us have had it tough at one time or another, I certainly have. I never knew a father or a father figure. I have always looked after myself, (or not), and others. It seems to be my lot in life to look after others, not just my own children, but waifs and strays from all over the world have found me, and just about demanded my care, since I was little more than a child myself. I always feel I have to be responsible for others.
I went down all the sad and crazy paths, depression, breakdown, suicide attempts, psychiatric wards… for most of my late teens and twenties. I still had no idea why or who I was when I had my first child 21 years ago. I grew with my kids, while I nurtured them, but there was little time to nurture me. I am still a bud.
Coming to college last year was the best thing I have ever done for myself, apart from stand up to the authorities to have the births I wanted with my four children. Since then I have started to grow into more of who I am, I think, and I need to continue to feed that. I feel blessed to be where I am in my life, because I feel I have a way better idea of what is important, than I did 20 years ago, and I have discovered some simple things, for better quality living. I will share a few here:
There is almost always a choice as to what path we go down in life, at any time.
No one can make us feel small or unhappy, unless we consent to it.
If you feed the black dog, it will grow bigger and bigger until it eats you all up.
When something needs to change, look to your attitude first.
Gratitude is our most powerful magic.
So those are my initial thoughts. Exciting, and daunting at the same time, but it’s going to be a great ride I hope, and one that will take me to many other viewpoints, from which I can stand back and look at me, and figure out some more about the mystery.
Image from an original lithograph that I bought many years ago, by UK artist, Nicola Slattery. (1996)