April 20, 2012

Redefinition And I'm Not Talking About Spanx


My bff was just in town for some girl time.  I've known her for almost 20 years.  She just reminded me that during Calculus {luckily we took almost every math class together, hence why I passed}, while I should have been calculating something, I was writing.  No, not my boyfriend's name eleventy-hundred times, but fictional stories about me, her, and some crazy escapade which usually wasn't far from the truth.  While math wasn't my cup of tea, I loved English class, I loved writing papers and poetry, I suppose it is only natural that I am a writer for all intents and purposes and have my blog here.  Because it's in me, its part of me, something I've always done and forever will do should I like to keep my sanity and be happy.

Even then at 14, I wrote humor.  My stories were obnoxiously inappropriate, as you can see nothing has changed.  I can write sobering posts, and sometimes that is necessary; but funny or serious, I will always be me.  So maybe nothing has changed but my platform? What once was a ratty old notebook is now a computer and URL.  I have defined my purpose, not just to make my best friend laugh, but to make all 10 of you that read laugh.  

Now we are coming up on our 20 year high school reunion, so she reminded me; damn her.  I still have some time, like years, or two; but who is counting.  And I look back on my high school self, myself at 20, my married self, myself as a mother and now as a single mother; and I see how much I've changed, no redefined.

I've always been me.  I've just grown into myself.  Isn't that something we all do?  It's called growing up.  At points in our lives we have a growth spurt and are required to look within, notice what is important at that particular moment and embrace it.  We are constantly redefining.  

Sometimes redefinition is growth induced and sometimes it is mandatory.  My divorce blindsided me, I was forced to redefine myself and my life.  Being forced to re-evaluate is hard, hard because it all seems so bad on the exterior.  You must peel away many layers to get to the core and find the blessings.  Sometimes I fear people cannot see the blessings in their circumstance and will remain paralyzed for many years.  That must wear on them.  It must be suffocating.

I don't talk about my marriage or divorce, ever; but I have one small thing I must share.  Near the end, when my now Ex-husband and I would be talking or disagreeing, he would say, "you've changed".  My reply would always be the same, "well I hope so, I've had two kids since I married you".  I did change but not who I was, but who he wanted me to be.  I've always been the same old Cari, take it or leave it, just more aware and less selfish.  I struggled with that argument for many years, thinking I had become something undesirable or different; lost myself somehow.  But much of that also had to do with the tirades of an addict looking for a fight and a way to use.  Manipulation is an addict's weapon.  At least I can see that now.

Redefinition is not always joyful.  It is seeing the person we really are, accepting our flaws, relinquishing the victim within, and loving ourselves despite it all.  At those times I'm blessed; when I think I'm the worst human being on Earth, and somebody like my bff picks me up and tells me they love me anyway.  They take you in even in when you've out-blacked the black sheep.  It is good to surround ourselves with people who will nurture the changes within us.  They water the seeds and make growth unfathomable.

And so through life we chip away at the hard exterior of ourselves, like a beautiful sculpture someone has painstakeningly given their entire life to create; a masterpiece.  Always the same at the core, but constantly polishing, defining, chiseling away at the masterpiece; until it is finished.  

Redefinition is not so bad, it's necessary.

Do you think you are who you have always been, or has life molded or redefined you?

A-Z Challenge for "R"

33 comments:

  1. I definitely feel like life has changed me (particularly my own marriage and divorce, which I also don't discuss very often) but I still think with the same mind, if that makes any sense. My thoughts now seem to come from the same place as my thoughts did when I was 5 or 10 or 15, and my inner voice is the same (albeit a little more stressed and exhausted). I'd like to believe that I exist in multiple versions of myself that change based on my life experiences, but that I'm still me underneath.

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    1. I think we all are the same, it just takes some time to finally accept who we are and listen to our voice.

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  2. Such a good post Cari, everyone changes, and I would pity anyone who stays the same throughout their life. Things happen to all all that make us who we are, and shape the direction we choose - but it never changes the fundamental person we are; our morals, principles and personality :) xx

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    1. Thanks! I think anyone unwilling redefine or polish will lead a very hard life. Growing doesn't make us wrong, it makes us stronger.

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  3. Nice pic with you friend. :) Life definitely changes you - I'm completely different than I as in my 30s.

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    1. And thank God life changes us, I was a hot mess in my twenties.

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  4. I like your "r" better than mine...mine is random, really.
    Yes...I have been re-defined. I wish I could write about it.

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    1. You CAN write about it, maybe not publicly? I did a lot of writing about my divorce, though it will never see the light of day...it's my own personal healing. Good to get that stuff out.

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  5. I've definitely changed. Grown up. I'm not the same girl I was at 19 when I was married. But my hubby and I have, for the most part, accepted the growth on both sides. Change is inevitable in life. But yes, authenticity is crucial.

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    1. Isn't life good at handing out situations that help us to find and keep our authenticity? I think when we are young that is what life it all about, finding out who we really are and what we stand for.

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  6. I like your blog. I think we all change, sometimes because of the things that we live through, sometimes because of the things we learn through other's experiences, but we always change.

    Good luck!
    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

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    1. Thanks, Gina. Life is one big lesson. And glad we change and have that option, life would be pretty dull otherwise.

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  7. I am so glad we change. I am so much smarter and better than I used to be. In fact we should be thankful for the ability to redefine ourselves. No one is perfect, we can all use a bit of redefinition at times. It'd be a shame if I had to be the moron I was in my twenties for the rest of my life, that's for sure.

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    1. I hated my twenties, I too was a moron. Isn't it funny that that is the age that we make some of our biggest decisions in life...marriage, children, careers? Not that they are mistakes at all, but hindsight is 20/20.

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  8. I love the idea of adults having "growth spurts" as they grow and evolve. I am not a big fan of change and I'm facing a few doozies these days--growth spurt coming! Great post.

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    1. Growth can be painful, indeed. But it's necessary. Good thing we are of drinking age, barely, but still;)

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  9. Redefinition is not so bad, it's necessary. I so agree with this. At the core I still feel like myself. But, due to things around me - kids, job, life in general, I have changed or as you put it - redefined. Great, introspective post!

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    1. Agree! Yeah, I don't know why the word, "changed" doesn't sit well with me...much prefer redefined.

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  10. I know I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, and it amazes me how much I was "myself" then, and how much I know I am "myself" now. We all change, there's no way to dispute that, and the only way to move forward is to look at ourselves and redefine who we are. Most of the time we can recognize those who haven't.

    Great post.

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    1. Agree. How can people not change? That baffles me. I fully expect it. Thanks, Janna.

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  11. Usually when people say, "you've changed," they mean, "you are not pleasing me anymore."

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    1. Yep. They also use it as a cop out not to work on fixing the problem/situation/self anymore too.

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  12. I hate when people say that... you are such a different person. No I am not - I am the same person - I have just grown up. When people say that - it usually someone who's life is still revolving around themselves. Or they are acting like they are still in high school/college. Come on - it has been over a decade!

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