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Me, Myself, Maranda

Fat Girl Life & Style Blog

That Feels Like Growth

A wise meme once said, “Fake people have an image to maintain. Real people just don’t give a fuck.”

Yesterday was my 38th birthday. While I don’t appreciate growing older, I’m certainly grateful for the continuation of my earthly experience.

I’ve spent a LOT of time over the past year in a weird sort of existential-contemplation mode. It’s been… interesting. Enlightening.

People change, right? Physically, emotionally, whatever. Speaking for myself, I feel like I’ve led several different lives – different versions of myself – already. These mid-30’s, though, I’m telling you. For the first time in any of my past-selves I feel like I’m finally figuring things out. Is there such a thing as rebirth of the psyche? Does it most commonly happen in your 30’s?

It seems I started this blog with delusions of grandeur and the hype of my own reinvention (again). I thought maybe it would help me “grow up.” Like maybe I could push myself into the role of a responsible, well-dressed, thoughtful adult woman if I just branded and marketed myself hard enough, you know?

But see, this behavior felt all to familiar to me. One day, a few months back, it hit me: there’s a pattern here.

When I experience a significant trauma in my life, a major shift happens behind the scenes in my head. I realize now that I must have learned this behavior as a child, and had it clearly reinforced as a problemed teenager. When something changes that significantly impacts my emotional well-being or causes me to question myself and my purpose, I flip script and use it as leverage to be more purpose-driven in a different direction.

I make sudden drastic moves and aspire to be a new and better person despite the trauma I’m side-stepping. That’s about as simple as I can say it.

The pattern goes something like this:

Get hit by trauma. Pick a fantasy life instead. Jump in headfirst. Give it your all to become someone… else? Someone somehow better? Feel never-satisfied. Float along in frustration until the next trauma comes. Do it again.

I am a repeat offender of this unhealthy pattern, of flaking between one sense of self and another. Of falling head over heels for something “new” to soften the blows of anything wrong or hurtful. But sometimes “new” is not necessarily better. Sometimes “new” can become a downward spiral.

So I’m headed toward 40 and have finally figured out that this cycle must be my coping method to overcome trauma my entire adult life thus far. When I consciously realized my own patterns (and I’m talking 10-year cycles here), there was an “oh shit” moment. Probably the closest my neurons will ever come to firing in the syncopated enlightenment of yeah, that makes sense.

And now I’m over here trying to connect dots between traumas and iterations of “self” and my perception of the world and my perception of the world’s perception of me. Right, okay.

Basically, you can suppress, repress, and obsess over the person you are. You can change things about yourself physically. You can meditate or medicate, or even both at the same time, whatever.

Eventually you’ll recognize some patterns. And if you find that they don’t serve you, you’ll be more conscious about recycling them.

Ultimately, my goal is to live a more authentic life. And by recognizing my behavior and breaking off the patterns that do not serve me, I gain control. I invest my energy more wisely. I stop being so hard on myself. I stop giving that fuck.

A very, very dear friend made me realize that I am worthy of being loved just the way I am – because of the way I am – despite my own many self-criticisms. I realized that sensation as feeling wholeness.

Seeing beyond my personas, beyond my inabilities, beyond what I’ve told myself is “not good enough”… Seeing is believing. Finally feeling it at my core, a shift toward the balance. A new feeling of connection with my current self to my future self, as well as backwards through each iteration of “self” I’ve inhabited.

That feels like growth.