I’m supposed to talk about myself. Again. This is getting really old. And really freaking personal. But ok, here goes…
Today’s prompt wants me to talk about recent encounters with my shadow self, my darker side, the “monsters in my closet”–which I find amusing because I hang out with them on the daily, and honestly, they’re not so scary once you get to know them. It also wants me to imagine an alter ego. What would that look like? Act like?
It turns out I can speak to this fairly clearly, because like all true left-handers, I’ve done it backwards. I started out as a wildling, to borrow from George Martin, and then became domesticated. I’ve seen both sides of myself. And now I’m trying to meet somewhere in the middle.
The darkness has come up a lot over the years, as I tried to live my alter ego, good Christian wife and mother persona. Not that all of it was bad, mind you. Still, I got married, raised a family, went to church…said the right words, did the right things (well, not always) and tried to live the life I thought I was supposed to live. But that life fell apart eventually. It didn’t fit right. It got too tight in some places and baggy around the edges. It warped out of its original shape with no way to put it back. That’s ok. I learned a lot along the way.
I had once been too wild. Too out of control. So I tethered myself to stability and created a life that grew and matured me in ways I could never have accomplished without those experiences. And let’s be honest, I wouldn’t trade even one of my four amazing children for all the wild inside of me. It was all for a purpose. All of it refining. None of it wasted.
But now that I’m on my own and my kids are all but grown and gone, I find myself relaxing into the me that I’ve been afraid of all along. Turns out I like my dark parts. My curiosity for things that are just past the edges. Passion, sensuality, spontaneity.
I don’t think my alter ego is evil. I think it’s wild and beautiful and free and I am rediscovering it day by day. I have lived too long caged by the expectations of others. Trying to fit myself into a mold created by a world that doesn’t have a name for me. I don’t have to do that anymore. I can explore anything and everything, but with the maturity to weigh the choices that I make and to be informed about the consequences – a priceless gift indeed.
Do I have regrets? Yeah. Several. Not sure it’s possible to get through life without stupidity. Sure makes for a lot of good stories though.
Some people say they would want to do it all over again with their “now” brain and life experience, but really that’s the same thing as just starting now. Starting over. So that’s what I’m doing. Me.