This idea that who I am today, right now, is wholly different than who I was just a year ago, is really sitting with me. Empowering me to embrace the fact that I’ve already had success in my desire to begin uncovering and rediscovering myself.
I am not incrementally different than I was; I am noticeably, considerably and unequivocally different than I was.
Today, I am consistently me.
I remember questioning myself, asking why I would accept treatment in my personal life that I would never stand for in the rest of my life. How could I be so successful in a male dominated workforce, when I wouldn’t even speak my mind in my own home. I could (and continue to) assert my opinions to experienced groups of professionals, often respectfully disagreeing without pause or concern, yet I would come home at the end of the day, tuck my tail between my legs, riddled with unnecessary guilt and begin apologizing. It was as if my work and home selves were two completely different people.
But no more, there is just me now. I will never do that again. Not ever, not for anyone.
But it’s not all on him; granted, he treated me poorly, but I let him. Day after day, I chose to defer and to submit, to choose peace over conflict and to choose him over me. And those were the wrong choices, but they were the ones I needed to make to end up right here, in this very spot where I know that I’m meant to be.
For the first time that I can remember, I am not chasing the leaves in the wind, grasping to catch them. Instead, I am the tree, with roots firmly embedded in the musky earth allowing the leaves to drift away and make room for something new.
I asked a special friend, who kindly affords me the freedom to unpack the the thoughts in my head, how I would ever be strong enough to know that I was capable of caring for someone without compromising myself and she said simply, I think it will be like a switch, one day, you will just know.
At the time, I wasn’t sure if she was right. But it took only a single sentence, a moment, a sliver of time, for me to see and believe that I am no longer that girl. That I will never be that girl again, that I cannot and will not tolerate being treated in a way that disrespects or devalues who I am. And that makes me think maybe she’s right. Maybe this journey is just a series of perfectly timed moments that allow our perceptions to shift and change like light switches on a wall.
Today, my sense of self is strong, I am not that girl anymore. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but I know it to be true. And that deserves to be celebrated, I want to shout it from the rooftops.
I am NOT THAT GIRL!