I had typed out a whole other post but when I write I want it to feel right. And if it doesn’t, I either just save it to share (or not) later when the time is right or start back up with something else that’s pulling on my heart. This re-occurring theme keeps popping up at this time in my grief. I keep asking myself who am I? Usually when people ask about who you are you tell them what you do for a living or your marital or parental status. But think about it, does that tell anyone WHO YOU ARE? Am I the jobless widow? Gosh I sure hope that isn’t my identity (even though sometimes I feel like that’s all I am).
The first thing that pops into my head that is absolutely one of my pet peeves is when parents hide behind their kids. Almost like their kids are the dictators of who they are, what they do, when they do it, etc (don’t get me wrong, to a certain degree I understand). Ok before all you parents freak out on me and say I don’t have kids (trust me I wish I did), don’t miss the point, don’t get defensive. If that was your initial reaction, you are probably doing exactly what I’m talking about. Nothing drives me more insane than when people bring their kids to a party/event etc and suddenly become the world’s top helicopter parents to avoid adult conversation/interaction. Stop avoiding the awkward adult stuff that the rest of us are dealing with without the distraction of kids. Your kids do NOT define you. They are part of you – big difference. You were someone before you had them. Don’t lose sight of that.
So now that I’ve ticked off all the parents, the same goes for married people. Yes you are “one” when you get married – but you are still an individual person. Only now you operate under the conditions of “how does my individual decisions effect us?” I hope you get what I’m trying to say, just like with the kid thing, WHO ARE YOU outside of this? What’s at the foundation here? While losing Paul is the absolute biggest tragedy I will probably ever face, I have to check myself and say to myself that I was someone before I was his wife. I am someone that isn’t defined by relationship with someone else. I am my own ME. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the many different “hats” we wear, and that’s just it, they are hats. You take one off and put on another given the situation.
Ok hopefully I’ve established what I’m talking about when I say who are you, so I want you to genuinely ask yourself that. WHO ARE YOU? WHAT MAKES YOU YOU? What do you enjoy? What are your goals? We can all for the most part say we enjoy family time and vacation. I’m asking you to dig down deep here. My friends and I at Honey Lake call this “real talk” because we can’t do the small talk. For me, the answers to these questions are tough – they aren’t jumping right out at me. For example, I almost feel pressured to say “I am beautiful” because as a Christian woman I’m supposed to know that I’m more precious than rubies right? Well help me Lord, that ain’t my first response, not something I believe 100%.
Looking at this through the lens of our careers, I often describe myself before losing Paul as doing what I was “supposed” to be doing. I was working a full time job I had ZERO passion for because the money was good, working from home was convenient, no weekends or holidays sure was nice for RN life. Who’s really happy they have to go to work every day anyways? It’s just a common nuisance for us all. WRONG. If anyone thinks I’m going to go work and do a job that I’m not even slightly passionate about or interested in again, they are absolutely off their rocker. Life is too short to not live out my passion in my everyday life. Which brings me back to who am I and what drives me? You should absolutely consider this when you think about your career – you spend too much time at a job not to.
What inspired me to sit down and write this was being alone at home, scrolling through social media seeing couple after couple together whether it be for V-day or what they did this weekend. And the truth is, I shouldn’t be sitting here alone. Paul should be here…but he’s not. While I struggle with loneliness, I’m asking myself how do I survive this? How do I be me without him and find joy again? How do I be content in this season? I want to argue that God made us relational and that I won’t be alone forever, but it doesn’t feel like in this moment that that is true. I need to be able to handle aloneness without going to the dark place in my mind that tells me I shouldn’t stay on this earth anymore. So believe me when I say, this post was just as much for me as it was you. Let’s do some soul searching and get back to who we really are, chasing our passions, and not just being something because our society says it’s who we ought to be.
P.S. I applied for a job at Home Depot because I love the smell of the store. I wouldn’t be passionate about it, but it’s simply just something to get me out of the house and “back in the game.” So if you see me rocking an orange apron, that’s really the truth behind it. LOL