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Identity Crisis

Do you ever sit and ponder on yourself? What I mean is do you ever wonder if you are truly being yourself or are you wearing different masks? I never really considered how easy it was to slip on a mask and become someone so different than who I really am on the inside. It brings to mind the song from Disney’s movie Mulan. Part of the lyrics goes, “Look at me. You may think you see who I really am, but you’ll never know me. Everyday it’s as if I play a part. Now I see, If I wear a mask, I can fool the world, but I cannot fool my heart.” She goes on to ask herself a series of questions. “Who is that girl I see staring straight back at me? Why is my reflection someone I don’t know? Must I pretend that I’m someone else for all time? When will my reflection show who I am inside?” These are all questions that I have thought about at some point in my life. When you reflect on yourself, who is it that you see?

For such a long time I was like a chameleon. I took on the role of what I thought I needed to be at any given point in time. To be perfectly honest, it became exhausting. I felt like I was always performing. More than that, I thrived on the applause that I received when my performance was just right. Little did my audience know, I was empty inside. For me, it was people pleasing. Everyone had to like me. Saying no was never an option. I felt that as long as I was needed, I was important. I was validated. I was somebody. Until I realized that I wasn’t. The journey to finding me was and still is a tedious one. It didn’t end because I acknowledged that I had issues to deal with. It didn’t end because I sought professional help. There are still days where I must fight against the darkness that attempts to infiltrate my mind.

Finding the triggers and truthfully dealing with past hurts helped me to learn the areas that were keeping me bound. A lot of it was not of my own doing but a side effect of what I encountered as a young child and adolescent. Seeking help was one of the most difficult decisions that I made; however, it was also the best decision that I made. I have learned so many things about myself and I actually love the person I am becoming. I no longer have to be what I think others want me to be. I am comfortable in the skin I’m in. I am ME!

Remember change is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. There will be good days and there will be bad days. It is important to actively take steps to remove the masks that you are wearing and you must also to get rid of them. You know we like to put things on the shelf for a while then go back and get it when we deem it necessary. Being authentically you is the best thing you can do for yourself. It’s ok if some people don’t like the new version of you. It may take some getting used to, but it is worth it. I am unapologetically me and you should be unapologetically you! We are on a real journey with curves, bumps, and reconstruction along the way. Let’s find the right direction to take so we are not going in circles. We Can Do This! I Believe In You! Keeping Pushing!

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