So, I always hear the term “find yourself”, and I wonder what that means. I know that I feel like I am on a journey to find the real me, but I am sitting right here so how far do I have to go, and what am I really looking for? Am I looking for the idea that I have about myself, or another version of me, or my best self? I work in the finance industry and most days are busy and hectic and mentally I am completed involved in my job and I don’t worry about finding myself, but when I am alone and my heart speaks to me, there is someone else there. A little voice that needs to be heard. Is that myself? Why is that more me than the me that is strong, determined and hides my emotions behind a smile. I think it is because some days I am sad for no reason, some days I do feel lost and wonder what it is all about. What is all this working, working out, buying things and going on vacations really about? And that is when the little voice inside me speaks and wants me to pay attention. Somehow she knows. So I started writing in my journal more often so I could connect with her, that is where she is safe and I can listen to her, and let her ideas come out. They used to seem like silly ideas, like “I want to draw”. Yeah right! You are are grown woman and you are going to sit around and draw? Give me a break! I wouldn’t act on her ideas, but at least I would write them down in my journal and give her a voice to state them. Then I would push her aside and hide her and think, I am a grown woman with a grown up job and an adult life, and now a grown up daughter and there are certain ways to behave. But if that was true, why was I breaking down? Why was my mind a jumble of ideas and thoughts and my emotions like circus side shows. Step right up folks; “here is the crazy, angry woman”, “here is the sad, depressed woman”, “here is the super working woman that is impatient and rude to ‘slow’ coworkers”. I felt like I was playing different roles in my life and I was just watching myself run around all day. I could feel me inside watching myself, cringing sometimes. So is that person watching the real me? So is that who I need to find when I am looking for myself? And why is she just watching, why doesn’t she say something and help? She is worthless! I am dying here! But what I discovered is I couldn’t force or bully her to come out. Like when I write in my journal, she knows its safe so she tells me what she really thinks and wants. But then I would close my journal and hide it again and get back to my many roles I was playing and how I thought I was supposed to be behaving. But I literally couldn’t keep it up, it really wasn’t my choice to find me. I became restless and irritable and was unable to sleep. I became angry with people that were pursuing their dreams, because what gave them the right not to stay in their role. I pushed my opinions on others so they would agree that what I was doing was right and acceptable, and it made me feel slightly better than others. But my racing mind, lack of sleep and my twitching eye said otherwise. Something did not add up. So that is what started my journey to search for the source of that little voice in me, and find myself. It is not as easy as I thought it was going to be, she doesn’t just come out on demand. First I had to create a safe atmosphere, almost like child proofing your home. The first and hardest step I had to take was to promise her that I would defend her no matter what. That if anyone put her down or tried to get rid of her that I would defend and protect her. It took me a long time to be able to keep this promise, but I finally was able to tell her I could do it. Then she took a few small steps forward. Then she told me that she wanted to meet people who would appreciate what she had to offer. I was scared to introduce her to people but she insisted that this would help. So, I went in search of people that would validate her, but promised to defend her if we met the wrong people. Through trial and error I met people that were very excited to see her. They smiled and encouraged her beyond anything she could have imagined. She took a couple more steps forward and came out a little more. Then she got more courage and told me that she didn’t want to be hidden in my journal anymore. What? You want me to write and have people read about you? This was a big ask. But she told me it would make her feel better. So I took her courage that she offered to me and I started a blog. And she smiled and felt happy. She started coming to work with me and teaching me patience and gratitude. She made me stop communicating with some people that hurt her feelings and brought her down. I listened because I had made the promise to her that I would protect her. Then one day she said she wanted to draw, and I finally let her. And now drawing brings me so much joy and happiness, and I feel the joy it brings others when they see my drawings. I am so curious and fascinated to see what she will want to do next. She is fun, she has spirit. She doesn’t care about work, or bills or material things. She is proud of me, and is glad I have created a life that she can now come forward and enjoy. She asked what took me so long to come find her, I told her that I didn’t know she was lost.
My husband and I moved to Portland Oregon over 20 years ago with our 3 month old daughter. We were living in San Francisco and both working full time, but after we had our baby we wanted a different lifestyle. We had often talked about moving out of the fast pace lifestyle of the Bay […]
I feel like when I write I use one side of me, and when I create art I use the other. They are in many ways opposing sides. When I am drawing I could be in the middle of a construction site and the noise wouldn’t bother me. When I am writing I need complete […]