I feel raw right now, with varnish stripping away layers I've used forever to protect myself, but I don't want to hide who I am anymore for any reason. There is such freedom in being true to yourself, and refusing to change who you are to make it easier for someone else, or to avoid a conflict. I want to be me, and be accepted for me, but I do recognize that it's not always possible for these two things to happen at the same time.
I feel like I have come a certain distance down this road, and then I become stopped in my tracks, with different things ready to trip me up and cause me to question my motives and reasons for what I do, and it seems like the process begins all over again. I know in my mind that I haven't lost any ground, but my spirit requires a bit more convincing.
I know I can't always do the right thing. I'm allowed to make mistakes, particularly when the stakes are this high, with the right to know myself and be myself as my end goal. It gets messy when you bring other people into the equation, and our lives are not our own. We interact with other people on a daily basis: people we love, those we can't stand and everywhere in between on that scale.
Sometimes we stumble across information which causes us to go back through our memories, trying to see where it fits with what we always believed to be true. There is a metamorphosis which takes place when we go from a child to an adult, and it can happen at any age and time, or never at all. Turning eighteen does not automatically turn us into an adult, except in the eyes of the law. Emotionally, we are in charge of this transformation, and it can be as leisurely or as swift as we are able to make it.
It's also a long process, filled with setbacks, pain and triumphs. It's necessary for everyone, no matter how stellar or awful your upbringing was. Our parents are only human, and do the best they can with the skills they possess, and we must make up the shortfall when we reach a place of emotional maturity. This maturity is not found at one point in time, but ongoing, like a rose unfurling, petal by petal, until it is able to inspire with its beauty and fragrance.
I long for the rose of my identity to bloom, and be free to show this core to the rest of the world. I'm tired of setbacks, and fears, and thorns holding me back. It's the nature of this life which we are all living. It is by turns beautiful and also devastating. But it is also all we have, and we must make the most of it while we are privileged to draw another breath, and see another sunrise, and kiss our children for one more bedtime. Growing is better than not growing, even if it hurts.