Who am I?
This is a question I have been asking myself for many years now, I'm not sure I even have the answer right now. But allow me to take you on a journey to discover who I am.
Identity Crisis 1.0
In University I went through my first identity crisis. I had been with my boyfriend for roughly 5 years at the time but we were slowly starting to drift apart. We met when we were really young, before we could even establish our likings and hobbies in life. Now that we were adolescents in University we were learning about ourselves, while we learnt about ourselves we noticed we no longer shared any of the same values or hobbies. And not to say that you need to share everything in common but things were going sour. Needless to say things did not work out, and it wasn't an easy ending by any means. 5+ years with someone is a very long time especially when you're in your teens. So when this chapter of my life came to a close I started a new one, taking shape into the person I wanted to become. I slowly started to change the music I listened to, followed my passion for vinyl, and read more books than you could imagine. My passion for fitness took a whole new route and I surrounded myself with likeminded people for a change. I thought I finally knew who Bee was.
At this point of my life I met someone new. To my amazement we shared a lot in common, it was exciting. Things weren't great in my home life, the relationship I shared with my mother was going rotten. I've touched on this in previous writing so I won't beat this topic more than I need to. But, what I will say is that my life became very dark. I was picked off the floor at work and shoved into therapy by my boss. I'm not embarrassed by this whatsoever, if anything I have her to thank for saving my life. Without someone taking me to therapy, who knows if I would have ever gone and gotten the help I needed. To this day I still talk with the same therapist, he's cool shit. Anyways, off topic. Everything started to slowly fall into place besides the relationships I had at home.
*cue the traumatic event*
My mother passed away and I began to spiral all over again. Thankful for the tactics I learnt in therapy but I was ill prepared to lose a parent, I mean I don't think anyone is ever prepared but certainly not at 20 years old.
In an instance my life was over as I knew it. I had my life 'figured out' before this: soon to be University graduate, teachers college on the horizon, hopeful relationship with my new boyfriend. Instead, I was planning a funeral, crying myself to sleep, and struggling to do the basic life essentials.
Identity Crisis 2.0
My life was uprooted. I no longer knew what my plan for life was, I just knew I no longer wanted to wake up in the morning and was disappointed when I saw the ceiling. I started to miss every class at school, I didn't talk to my friends, and I stopped working out. So, I dropped my honours title on my degree at University since my passion for learning diminished. I still graduated but instead of another year of school I graduated that summer. I had no plan. I was someone that planned every stage of my life and for once I was fine with being nothing, doing nothing, and not existing.
From the outside looking in, it appeared that I lived a pretty pure life. I had a great relationship, roof over my head, athletic, smart. But I felt defeated, fair enough after going through one of life's worst tragedies. Eventually I picked myself up, looked myself in the mirror and said 'get your shit together, this isn't you'.
So I started over. I left my relationship, I moved out, and I started a new job. I seemingly no longer recognized myself, and I'm not sure if this was an attempt to run away from the life I had or start living the life I was never afforded? I lived my life through my mothers eyes, and now that she wasn't here I started to do everything I wasn't 'allowed' to do or was scared to do because I didn't want her disapproval.
What if losing my mother provided me the perfect do-over?
I started to try new things, I started to run everyday (giving me motivation to even leave bed), found new friends, sought out adventure, sounds a lot like crisis 1.0 doesn't it... I was riding the high of this new life, something I like to call bandaid behaviour: acting in a manner that numbs reality and gives you serotonin that is short lived. So inevitably, I crashed harder than the Titanic. The pain of my mother began to roll in, I tried medicating, I tried the dating scene again in attempt to not feel so alone, I pushed friends away to shelter them from the disaster in my head. Nothing felt right anymore and I didn't know what was wrong with me. I turned to my therapist asking him if I was Bipolar like my mother, one minute I would be happy riding this high, the next I wanted to jump off a bridge, what was happening to me? He told me I wasn't and that I was dealt a shitty hand in this game we call life. Awesome. So how the fuck do I move on in life? Will I always be the girl who's mother died and never figured out her life?
Then I sat and had an honest conversation with myself. I put pen to paper and had a confession, the words spilled out on the page, letter by letter.
"I think I'm queer"
And I suppose this is makes for a new season of crisis...
Identity Crisis 3.0
And suddenly everything began to make sense. I dropped the resentment I held on myself for falling out of love with my ex-partners. I stopped shaming myself for not feeling like I fit in with friends or family. Scrubbing my skin from the discomfort I felt.
In my two identity crisis' you can see similar traits. Striving to find new things to hide the reality of my identity, pushing the invisible do-over button on life. I was on the relationship elevator, the one where you get a degree, meet a man, get married, buy a house, have children. But the problem with this equation was that I was forcing this to be my reality and when the 'man' fell short of my expectation I pushed them away. When in reality it was me. I am my own worst enemy for not being honest with myself, for not BEING myself.
The day after I admitted this to myself I went to see my best friend and I said the words out loud. And the moment I did that, for the first time in 5 years I didn't want to die. I told you I was in a dark place so don't feel shocked when I say I wanted to die. Well, its apparent why I was in such a dark place, I was living a life I was never destined for.
The following week consisted of dressing how I felt, expressing who I was to loved ones, and just not giving a single fuck what people thought of me. The day I admitted my darkest secret was the day I was reborn, emotionally. No more fake smiling, I finally wore a 'my cheeks hurt' smile for days. People that hadn't even known I came out of the invisible closet told me I had this new 'glow' about myself. I like to call that glow, 'relief'. I started to cut myself a break and accepted that until I loved myself for who I was, my life wouldn't truly work out how it was suppose to.
So I sit and wonder the same question, Who Am I?
I begin to take everyday with a grain of salt, I validate my emotions and gut feelings and listen to what sets my soul on fire.
I don't really think I have an identity right now, nor do I feel like I need to put a label on it. I don't feel the need to 'come out' to everyone in my life, you'll find out on your own and I hope you accept who I am. I wouldn't say I'm hiding it from people, but I don't need to throw it in everyones face either. If you figure it out online, or from this writing piece, I'm glad you know. But I also don't need your validation from a text, thats not what this is about. This is about expressing the pent up thoughts in my head.
I truly shed a happy tear for myself for figuring this out. This chapter of my life has been devoted to self love. Love through emotional support for myself. I don't need monetary things in life, I prioritize what makes me happy, I grow independence, and lean on myself for understanding what I need. It has been a lonely journey for sure, living alone hasn't made this easy either.
It truly made me think, about how I don't think I would have been able who I wanted to be if she was here. And that is not to say she wouldn't support me. But I strove to make her proud each day and she was always rooting for my heterosexual relationships, and because of that I don't think I would have found this path for myself.
I don't think I would be a Police Officer if she was here. Again, not because she didn't support it, but because she worried sick about me every minute of the day that it was never a viable option.
Some might say the person I have become violates every plan my mother had for me. And they would be right, but it is no refute to her. But I don't think I was living an honest life for many years. And now I live guilt free. The two things that define my identity are the two things I discovered after losing her...
I woke up everyday for the last 5 years disappointed I was still here. Of course I loved the people in my life and I was thankful for everything I had but I never felt like I fit in and was always seeking something new and I could never figure out what that magic fix was. Well, that magic fix was honest with myself. I wake up in the morning now eager to learn about myself and the person I am destined to be. But don't get me wrong, I still have my bad days. I still wake up some days and refuse to leave bed, I still cry about things that happened to me, but they are no longer tears of resentment towards myself and the life that I live. They are tears for the things that HAPPENED to me, an emotional release to accept the past.
This is the journey to discover Bee.... buckle up and enjoy the ride...