Not the Same

This is a weird time for me. I have been floating in limbo for a long time. I’ve been in this actively shedding, actively letting go place since 2015.

Everything has been goodbye, good-luck. It may sound weird, but it’s felt that way.

There has been so much loss and change and growth in the last 7 years I can’t quantify or even qualify it. I will just say…I am not the same person.

I am not the same person I was when I was married to my children’s father.

I am not the same person I was when I was with my boyfriend after my divorce.

I am not the same person that had a seizure in my sleep.

I am not the same person that moved into a travel trailer in the winter four years ago.

I am not the same person that got a job in Billings without ever being to Billings.

I am not the same person that bought my house.

I’m not the same person that moved to Billings knowing not a soul in the city.

I am not the same person that fell in love and had to let go of love. Twice.

I am not the same person that got cancer.

I am not the same person that has a heart that reacts dangerously to stress.

I am not. And I am also-that person.

I read a story by Sandra Cisneros in my 6th grade classes a few months ago called Eleven. It’s the narrator’s 11th birthday. She talks about how we grow and learn. As we age, we add on the layer of the new age/new self. The narrator quips that when you whine and need to crawl into your mom’s lap, you’re the you that is four. When you get embarrassed and cry, you’re the you that is nine. And so on.

I don’t know what me I am now. I’m pushing myself out of my little hidey hole, ready to try the world again. I think many of us have this energy left over from the lockdown era of this pandemic. I have the added challenge of having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020.

Recently I have only just started appreciating what I have been through health wise in the last four years as–significant. I have avoided really thinking about it so much, but I need to allow myself some deep grace to honor what I have learned. My health experiences are like the ages in Cisneros’ story. Everything we grow through is another layer of who we are.

I’m a newbie. And I’m a grown up. I’m getting myself prepared to make goals and be excited about new things and new adventures. And I’m going to also admit…it’s really hard.

Here’s to those of us that don’t quite know how to reenter the world. It’s ok. We’ve got some warm blankies and beverages, and we can go at our own pace.


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