I’m constantly misplacing things and I usually don’t care. I know that they will turn up and I’ll only drive myself crazy and make a huge mess trying to find them.
Yes, I found my camera, in case you were concerned. Now, I just need to remember where I put my wedding rings….shhhhhh! And yes, again they are misplaced.
But, for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, I chose the prompt: “What did you once lose? Write about your search to find it again.”
Well, it’s cliched, but what I lost…was myself.
I was 24 years-old and trying desperately to hang on to the life that I thought I wanted.
To make myself into the person that I thought X would still love, even though he fell in love with me as I was, I still felt like maybe I could change and make it all okay.
At a loss for what to do, I went from being a dark brunette to a blonde.
I became a size 0. Not by any effort on my part, though. I ate everything in sight. I think it was just stress. I didn’t stop moving during this time, so nothing stuck to me. I know, I hate the 24 year-old me, too. And regret not having more pics of me during this time.
I got a tattoo. So not like the conservative pain-hating girl I was.
Gone was my conservative wardrobe. I bought leather and sequins and lace. Short, tight, and revealing.
Dancing and drinking and laughing too loud.
I tried to fit the image of the girl I thought he wanted.
And, it still didn’t work.
So, after I left, I didn’t know what to do. Go back to the old me? Keep going with this new character I’d created?
It made sense to me to keep going on this path I’d started down. To prove some sort of point, though I can’t remember now what that was.
I dated like a mad woman. A guy would call and I’d have to ask, “Um, who are you again?” and even then, I still couldn’t keep them straight.
I once ditched a guy in the middle of a date for a cuter one that I saw in another part of the bar.
And then ditched that guy for his much cuter roommate, ten minutes later.
I didn’t let anyone get close to me. No one was allowed to come to my house, not even to pick me up for a date.
Annoy me and you were gone. Two dates was the longest I tolerated anyone, but even that rarely happened.
But, in that short amount of time, I didn’t have to let anyone in. No one could see that I was lost. That I didn’t know what I wanted.
I’d move on before anyone could notice.
Move on while their image of me was still the fun, loud, skinny blonde who is up for anything.
Move on so quickly that I didn’t even have to stop to see myself any other way, either. Keep myself so busy that I didn’t have time to stop and think if this was really me.
And then….it hit me.
Sure, it’s fun to play the cute party girl. The attention was nice and helped my ego after my bad break-up.
But, what if I want to dress in comfy clothes, tie my hair up, not wear any make-up, and sit on the beach with a book?
Ah, yes, that feels like me.
What if I didn’t want to be all sunshine and roses all the time?
What if I didn’t feel like dancing?
What if the jokes I was hearing weren’t funny?
What if I didn’t actually care if everyone adored me?
I wasn’t allowing anyone to see that side of me.
Well, except for one friend I’d made during this time.
Who was my sounding board. Who laughed at the stories of my crazy antics. But, who saw me cry when it all got too hard to keep up with. Who listened to the stories of my past with no judgement. Whom I never once tried to impress…because I certainly wasn’t going to date him. So, he heard it all.
Time passed. And I realized that the real me….was the girl that I was when I was with him. When I wasn’t trying to impress or worry about what he thought of me. He saw all of me: the party girl I showed the rest of the world and my quiet side, my ugly side, all of it.
That was me.
So, I guess you could say that I found myself and found my husband at the same time.