Once upon a time, there was a girl, who not only believed in fairy tales but who could see the magic in the world. She was good and pure and trusting and believed her whole life still laid in front of her.
That same little girl is the one reading this post, now a grown woman, who was reminded that life is not all rainbows and unicorns in the most brutal way. Through trauma and heartache, you were ripped back to reality, and sadly it is here that you must live your lives. Devoid of the sense that you are magical, and that you can truly be who you want to be.
When we are small we feel our potential. Our dreams and hankerings are not purely coincidental. They are borne from what lies inside, the seeds of a life well-lived waiting to be planted. To bloom and prosper. Then, as we grow up, we allow society to slowly chip away at that potential. We lend our ears out to anyone and everyone who seems to have authority, who “knows what they are talking about”. Often, these are the people who try to hide their own failures behind the judgement of others.
These people tell us how our lives ought to progress. How we are supposed to move from point A to point B, collecting education and careers and partners and children on the way. Don’t skip a step, and don’t try to change the order – someone is watching and judgement will be swift and cruel.
The question that I have for you today, is a simple one. It is a question that has been burning in my heart ever since I decided to walk out of my marriage. When I lost the tag of “Wife” that society had placed around my neck. The question is:
Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?
Before you heard about “socially acceptable behaviour” and standards before you knew what was frowned upon and what was downright not accepted? Can you remember who you were?
My story is not that uncommon. So many of my peers, and not only distinguished based on generations – we are spread throughout the different ages, cultures and income gaps, can relate. We got engaged because after so many years of being together it was the logical next step. Engagement of course led to a wedding, which was practical and good and right. Within the “safe” protection of marriage, children were conceived and welcomed lovingly into this world. Careers were chased with no regard for happiness. And life as we know it went on. No ructions, no disruptions.
The day that I remembered I once had dreams and desires that were not tied to a husband or kids, was the day that I realised I had to get out. That was the day I realised I had given up my identity, my uniqueness, in order to fit in. To not rock the boat. Well, that boat not only had to rock, but it also had to sink. It was on its way in anyway. I just helped the process along.
Today I am still trying to figure out exactly who I am, and who I want to be. The world is constantly nagging over my shoulder, criticising my choices. Pointing out all the places I made mistakes. But that is ok because I know this time I am doing it on my terms. This time, if I make a mistake, it is mine to own and mine to fix. No coercion or guilt led me to it. Only me and this wonderful life I am busy building.
Since my journey started in earnest I can once again see the magic in the world, and I can appreciate it. I can feel my potential – sometimes it scares me, but most of the time it excites me.
Who are you? Figure it out and then tell the World to go for a hike!