To my teenage sister

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It seems that just a while ago

I wore those shoes you do.

I tried hard to do my best

to be well-liked, like you.

I struggled hard to find my place;

I cried. I felt so all alone.

At times I didn’t fit in anywhere

not even at my home.

I was teased for being happy.

To get good grades was “wrong.”

Labeled “gay” without a boyfriend

How could I carry on?

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I could stand for truth I guess,

But then I’d stand alone.

My fire died. I drooped and cried

a fizzled, miserable tone.

For a year or more I suffered

underneath their heavy weight

sad and quiet, they had won

and I accepted fate.

‘Til it occurred to me

how little I had gained.

I had tried their way and got nothing

except constant pain.

I wasn’t me anymore

and I could not please them.

What was left for me to do

but choose to live again?

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And so I gave my heart a scrub

and set out to do just what I liked.

I let my true self out

and stopped being afraid to be myself.

Doing what I loved was fun

and being what I thought best

gave me joy and confidence

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to let go of the rest.

That blissful state of popularity

I doubt really exists

except for those who love themselves

and life the way it is.

DSH 4/2/07

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Identity Crisis?

English: Ordinary hexagonal dendrite snowflake...

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I was just talking to a friend of mine today.

She went through a divorce, had to start over with nothing, and found herself trying to get to know herself all over again.

Finding myself has been a personal passion partly because meeting the needs around me makes me sort of cameleon-like.  What is really me?  What is just responding to circumstances?  I like to bring a smile to others if I can.  In fact, that is why I’m writing this.  In case I can brighten your day or give you hope if you are in the same situation.

I found myself particularly lost when my youngest went to kindergarten.  The years of being Mom left just DarEll for several hours per day and I wasn’t sure who that was anymore.  I was afraid I hadn’t seen her for a long, long time.

Two books especially helped me on my way:  One was Becoming Real by Gail Saltz and the other was The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

They each give ideas and instructions on how to find your own voice and be more true to yourself.

Most of all, it takes a little faith that we can know what is best for ourselves, that we can trust ourselves, and that we are not responsible for everyone else’s happiness.

I was afraid that I’d hurt people by letting myself be me.  I was very restrictive to myself and what I wanted to do.  Some of it had been necessary when my children were small, really were dependent on me and funds were tight.  But, it wasn’t true now.

I had to give myself permission to buy something just for me.  Do something just because I enjoyed it.  It was a suprisingly difficult adjustment.  But, I’m proud to say that I am very much better at caring for myself and I hope you will find the strength to give yourself permission to be you, too.

It is okay to make mistakes while we find our way.  If you feel that everything in your life that ever happens is all your fault, or everyone thinks it is, you may have codependency going on.  Sometimes I liked to believe I had that much power because then I could also have the power to change and fix things.  But, I never will have the power to make other people happy.  That is their choice.  I have to let that dream go.

You are worth finding.  There is only one person like you in the whole world.  We need each snow-flake.

© 2012 DarEll S. Hoskisson (dsh)