I was laying on my bedroom floor playing with my kitten this evening. I just love her energy and curiosity, her wild abandon and playful nature. She is just a kitten with so much yet to learn about being a cat but I hope she always has a kitten’s spirit. After she wandered off I remained there staring up at the ceiling thinking on an email I received today from a friend:
You have been for a few years a caterpillar. You are now in a protective, altering cocoon state undergoing metamorphosis. When you emerge (and you shall) you shall have your next stage as a lovely butterfly. I very much enjoy reading your Marvi blog.
All the best,
His choice of wording really hit home, I feel like I am going through a metamorphosis, and right now it is a scary place for me. I wouldn’t say that I am changing, but rather that the real me is being uncovered again and working her way back to the surface. I haven’t seen her in so long that, while she seems familiar, she is a virtual stranger.
Life causes us to develop various masks for ourselves that we change as needed in order to adapt or conform to certain situations. We learn in our growing up years to hide certain sides of ourselves based on acceptance or rejection by our peers. It is the beginning of our inner child disappearing. This carries on as adults as we adjust to what is or is not ‘acceptable’ in certain social circles.
As young adults we are dating and learning about others, what we like or don’t like in a potential life mate. We may chose to put away certain characteristics of ourselves into the toy box of our heart in order to please Mr. or Mrs. Right. Sometimes over the years with that ‘right’ one, as we mature and grow, we find ourselves putting away more and more, as less and less of our real personality is found acceptable. The very things we fall in love with in another become the things that later we tend to find the most annoying, as personality traits have both a positive and a negative side. Often we hear folks talk about their long time spouse, how the person had changed from the one they fell in love with so long ago. I tend to think that it wasn’t that anyone changed, they just started to put away a part of themselves as their other half became less enthralled with various aspects of their mates personality. Over time we become less and less true to ourselves as we strive to be what we think our partner wants us to be. There is nothing wrong with this wanting to meet the expectations of someone we love, provided we don’t give up too much of ourselves along the way.
In almost 23 years of marriage, I always felt like I fell short of my husband’s expectations, like I never quite measured up. I always felt that no matter how hard I tried I never quite had his complete approval. Over the years I ventured in many different directions and down dozens of roads, locking up more and more of me in an effort to be the perfect wife and still fell short. I loved him so much that I wanted so badly to please him, but never felt like I ever was quite good enough. During that time my inner child became buried very deep, and the toy box of my heart securely locked.
With the separation of my husband’s heart from me, the announcement that he wanted a divorce, and our physical separation into different residences, the locks were removed from the toy box, and the cage in which my inner child has lived for so long. That child, the real me, has only peered out of the darkness but has yet to emerge. Through the walls of a cocoon woven over 2 decades she has watched, longing to be set free to run and jump in the puddles of life again. The sides of that enclosure are beginning to split, and little by little she will start to break free of the confines in which she has been hidden. It is both liberating and frightening as hell to me. I will never again NOT be true to myself, and I will spread my wings and ride the wind again…soon.