I think this is something that most people think they are doing but when they look deep inside they are not really doing what makes them happy or they are hiding parts of themselves. This is a concept that I have struggled with my whole life and I am sure that most people do this at times.
For example in High School I will never forget when my Mom said “You are like a chameleon and can fit in with all crowds. You seem to conform to whatever group or person you are talking with.” At the time when she said this I thought this was a good thing, I can be friends with anyone and I don’t really have a “click”. But……let’s really think about that….the fact that I was morphing to meet others expectations. Did I really want to look that way?? Did I want to say those things?? Did I pretend to like things just to be sure someone liked me?? Yes…that is exactly what I did.
These are things that I think back on now and realize that I was not being ME, I was being everything that everyone wanted me to be or expected me to look a certain way. I remember all the many phases between middle school all the way to the year when I separated from my first husband. I seemed to be subconsciously doing this all the time, this left me never satisfied and lacking in so many things that made me “ME”.
In the past year I have strove for complete openness with all people, in the aspects of my life that could be shared or was appropriate to share. Why pretend?? What was gained from this?? Nothing really, no true and deep connection is made by hiding who you really are. When I started to date my current husband I had made the conscious decision to be open. I was tired of hiding and understood that I deserved to be ME. Mind you, I am still figuring out all the parts of me that were buried but for the ones I know whole heartily, those I put right out in front of him. I explained that I was very attracted to women but that did not change my connection or attraction to him. It was just a layer to who I am and how I wanted to live my life. I want open free love, and if this is not acceptable to him then we wouldn’t be able to date. Obviously he accepts me fully or we wouldn’t be married.
I am fully free to be me at all times, this comes with the pressure of assuring that I do not forget his or family needs. While I am free to do and be as I please, I always have in my mind that I do not abuse this freedom. So this requires absolutely truthful communication at all times, sometimes this is emotional but there is no bond that can break us. We talk through whatever random need I have at the time, and move past or through it.
What brings you pleasure?…. This is something I am still discovering and learning. What I thought made me happy and brought me pleasure, is now being questioned to be sure that it is not something that someone expects of me, but is actually what I want. This will probably be something that I will always do, but I also try to take it with a grain of salt. If at the end of the day if I am happy, and everyone’s needs are met, that is all that matters.
Work environment and being free to be me…..This is something that I am slowly realizing is ok within reason. I luckily work in an extremely inclusive and diverse cultured environment. Within reason, I am able to be me. I participated in the Pride Parade this year with 65 others from my office, it was an extremely liberating feeling. Not only was I open with my peers that I had never met before but with the whole mass of strangers that gathered for this massive parade. I walked with my head held high, waving as the crowds of people, waving a bi-sexual flag that was almost as tall as I am. Working in an inclusive and understanding environment is INVALUABLE for me. Reality is, not all places are this open and inclusive, but they should be. When their workers feel happy and loved, they are more productive.
How does this effect family life… I have not seen any negative effects as of yet to being openly me. My communication with my husband and family is amazing. If you came into my house and just observed, you would see all the normal family stuff…
- Sitting around the table eating dinner with the kids
- talking about the days we had
- arguing over eating with the kids
- dogs wanting food from the table or barking at random things
- toys and things everywhere
- but you would also see happiness, true to being you happiness for everyone
Just because I am open, does not mean I just walk around “flaunting” how uniquely me I am. This just means if I don’t like something I no longer worry what the others think if I don’t like it. If I have an opinion that is very much the opposite of what they may think, I still voice it. I welcome the chance to share my option to the scenario, they either like it or they don’t, both are equally ok. I have been heard, and that is all that is needed. My siblings are very aware of my stances on things now, this has only brought us closer and I have learned new things about them.
Friend dynamics changed…..some for the better and some ended, this is also ok with me. For my best friends we are now closer and they laugh (A LOT) at the what seems random thoughts that I just spurt out. I don’t have a huge group of close friends and I am perfectly happy with that. The few that I am fully and completely open with are my world. We can joke and laugh, because I am completely and utterly random and now ask all the very direct random thoughts that pop into my head. They either answer me or are free to tell me to shut up….lmao. They are also free to be themselves!
What is my comfort zone??…..the shorter answer is what isn’t in my comfort zone. With me feeling so open and able to be me, I am rarely taken into any situation that is outside my comfort zone. I adapt my situations to what makes me most comfortable.
An example of this: I am outspoken when comfortable to speak buttttt…put in a situation where I am in a crowd of people that I don’t know, I will turn into a little shy mouse. I will assess my environment, find a “safe” quiet spot where I am still apart of the group but not in the center. If some other quiet person joins, we will most likely start to talk, or I am ok sitting in silence. It is not something that all can do, sit contently in their thoughts just assessing the situation and making their own decisions. Not just following along with what everyone is doing because that is what is expected.
It is my hope that everyone that reads this finds who they want to me and is able to be in an environment that supports them. If you aren’t in this environment, is it time to assess your life and priorities? Are you happy? Are you able to do what you feel fits you best?
Please comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts!