Monday, April 30, 2012

Growing Pains

Over the past week or so, I've been doing a lot of internal searching and reflecting. It's part of my "move forward, grow upward" approach to life these days.

I've discovered that sometimes, when people are toxic to your healthy growth, they must be let go. Sometimes these are long time friends, and sometimes these are family members. For the first time in my life, I am Number 1, and what I need to be healthy, happy, and grow is my greatest consideration.

Then there is another strange realization that it took me a while of talking-out-loud about that it finally made sense. I've happened to have a lot of interactions with single Jewish guys lately, and I was beginning to feel like my personality has become abrasive or overly aggressive with men, in particular. One of my biggest issues that has plagued me since I was a kid is that I get really excited about people. When I meet awesome people, I want to talk to them and get to know them and just immerse myself in their awesomeness. The problem is that I often mistake this for "interest" or something else, and that aggressive me comes out. But then, when I was talking this whole realization that I had today out with a friend, and I discovered something else.

Growing pains. In my marriage, I became someone I didn't recognize -- I was timid, closed-off, almost submissive in a way. I was a shell of myself, and those who knew me well knew it, saw it, and felt it. And my feeling today that I'm aggressive or abrasive in my conversations with men was a little off. No, I'm not being abrasive or aggressive, I'm returning to my original self. Confident, outspoken, and strong. Who I was before my marriage was who people know me as. I just forgot who I was ... 

That kind of realization has left me feeling strange. I'm so insecure about coming back into my own that it's made me doubt who I am. But that strong, self-sufficient, independent woman that I was was who I was proud of, it's me. It's Chaviva. I can't wait to feel comfortable in that skin again, and seeing those little pieces of it makes me feel hopeful.

I'm discovering that I'm stronger than I thought I was; I just forgot who that strong person was when she hid away inside of me.

It's a very, very weird feeling.