I Embrace Me

As I’ve talked about many, many times, I’ve always struggled with being true to who I am. I’ve never truly embraced me for me. Until recently. I am really starting to get the hang of just being me. Me as a happy person, me as a grumpy person, me as a friend and a wife, me.

Understanding and embracing who we are, how we’ve been created, is the launching pad for living a fearlessly genuine life, where we’re no longer pretending or trying to be something other than what we are on the inside.

Jen Hatmaker, Fierce Free Fire

The key to my progress of late starts with understanding who I am. It means peeling back all of the layers that I’ve built up to get to my core to understand who I was created to be. I have not lived a genuine life embracing myself. I have lived a life embracing who I thought other people wanted me to be. I am no longer going to pretend to be anyone for anybody. I am going to show my true me.

Who is the true, genuine me?

I am still discovering this. As I continue to peel back all of the layers I’ve built up, I get to know myself more and more. This process is exhilarating and it is scary. It’s like I’m in a new relationship and the other person is the me that I’ve been hiding all of these years. I am taking chances and living into things that I’ve avoided before. I went camping a couple of weekends ago and woke up in a frustrated mood after sleeping like shit. I was kind to other people, but instead of getting mad as myself for being frustrated, I let it roll. I let myself be in that space and feel those feelings. Soon enough, the frustration just slid away. I also had the first conflict with a friend that I’ve had in a really long time. Fuck that sucked. We had differing opinions and I told her my opinion, not to tell her she was wrong, but to stand up for myself. We agreed to disagree and that it’s okay to have different opinions. It sucked, but it felt better to be true to me than to cave or just go silent until a new topic arose.

I’m also leaning into the things that might make other people annoyed with me. I have some serious (maybe not to the diagnosable point) OCD tendencies. I also have some strong beliefs about what it means for my home to look sloppy. I prefer to have everything in it’s place and if there are piles, I feel like a slob. My husband disagrees and thinks my view is only me thinking about or caring what other people think. Yeah, I can’t deny that is part of it. But, it is a deep-rooted feeling. I’m caring less and less what some people think because I know that what I think matters more.

Then there comes the topic of weight and health. I’m not perfect in my healthy eating. I want to do better, but I know that if I diet or get extremely strict, I will go so far the other way. I no longer want to eat healthy to lose weight. I don’t care. I don’t care that I have a bit of a gut or the my thighs are flabby. I have finally come to the realization that I do not have to fit anybody else’s opinion of health. My health journey is now primarily focused on how I feel and eating or being active to embrace habits that might help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.

I embrace me. All of me. Even the parts that I historically have not liked.

I embrace me.

Who Am I?

I am Crystal, a strong, beautiful woman. I am a women who knows her values and lives by them. I am a proud, successful woman who never settles for less than what I know I can earn through hard work and dedication. I am an adventurer. I am me.

Notice, I didn’t say I am a project manager or I am a wife or I am a dog mom. I am those things, but those things don’t define who I am to my core. Those are things that are who I am because my core shapes them. Being a wife is shaped by who I truly am. Being a project manager comes from who I am to my core. Being a dog mom comes from the love I have and can give to these precious pups.

Who we are is not defined by who we are attached to or what we do for work. Who I am is not defined by anybody but myself. Who you are is not defined by anybody outside of yourself. You disagree? Then there are some changes you need to make in your life.

I am an individual before I was ever anything else. If I were to represent my union before myself, then I would be discounting who I am for who we are. I do not expect my husband to represent us before himself. He sure as hell tries (the stupid ‘happy wife, happy life’ way of thinking), but I don’t want our relationship to come before each of us as an individual.

I am an individual before I am an employee or manager. Being true to who I am and being me first helps me to be a better employee and manager. By bringing my individual experience and beliefs and education to my role, I can have a diverse team that works well together.

Who are you? Have you sat and thought about who you would be if you didn’t have your spouse, your children, your pets, your job, anything other than yourself?

Who are you?

I Am Me

I am me, regardless of my weight.

I am me, regardless of my salary.

I am me, regardless of my job.

I am me, regardless of who my immediate family is.

I am me and that is who I will be.

I am me and I am learning to be comfortable with who I am.

I have spent most of my life trying to be someone else. I was a chameleon trying to change who I was to fit who I was around and the situation I was in. I was never true to myself. I was changing and blending so much that I lost who I was.

I was lost. I have been lost since I was a teenager, probably even before. I was never truly myself. I knew deep down there was a picture of who I wanted to be, but that person was so far away, that I didn’t think I would ever actually be able to be her. I thought that person was someone who had to stay hidden so I could be what others wanted me to be.

I started drinking to fit in. I drank A LOT. I partied. I buried my introvert so deep she had no idea how to come back out.

I kept drinking and partying because I made friends that way. I made friends everywhere I went because I was free and happy and lively.

I made friends, but I didn’t truly connect with people. They let me in, but I kept everyone at an arm’s length, or farther. I wasn’t willing to let anybody see who I truly was or where I was from. I didn’t know who I was. I was ashamed of where I was from.

I wasn’t me.

I got tired. Everything I buried away started creeping in. I started feeling again. It sucked. I hated it and tried to drown my feelings with more partying. Except that didn’t work. I really wasn’t happy. I didn’t know who I was or what I truly wanted out of life.

Until I gave in. I started working on myself. I started working on the hell of my past. I started letting people in, just a little bit. I let Eddie in and he crushed every fucking wall. I was caught in this space of not knowing who I was and being this party girl who checked all the boxes depending on who I was with.

Then I leaned in farther. I explored the feelings. I found others like me. I started to learn who that person that I pictured could be. I started to see her more clearly until I finally invited her to be part of my life.

I never thought it would be possible to be comfortable in who I was or am. I have a lot of regrets in life and one of my biggest is not learning to truly be who I am earlier in life.

I still struggle to overcome the chameleon, but every day that I lean into me is another day that my love for myself grows. It started with a baby step, then another, then another, and another. Baby step after baby step brings me to who I am today.

I still have a lot of growing to do, but I can truly, confidently say I am me.

I am me and that is who I will be. I am for me. I am me.