Do you remember the movie, The Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? Well if you were to over dramatize my life and toss in a couple funny wedding scenes, you'd have me.
There were times in my life I didn't hide who I really was inside from a male. When I was 6 years old and the boy who lived across the street from my Grandmother kissed me behind a rock while we were playing hide and seek was the first. The others came later as revelations.
For most of my life I hid who I was in relationships. For most of that time, I don't even think I realized I was doing it. I just thought that I was learning about that person and sharing their experiences. In high school it was all very innocent. Guys were interested in getting to the next base. Pretty easy to figure out. There was one exception and maybe I'll write about him someday. As high school went on though, I started to get lost in the boys I was dating. This boy liked soccer, ok, I was going to be interested in it. That boy liked the drums, ok, I will start listening to percussion music. Like I mentioned earlier, it started innocently enough.
As I moved on to college, my unease with my chosen major should have been an indicator that I was not really sure who I was or who I wanted to be. I dated, I latched on and threw myself in to what others wanted me to like whether they knew it or not. Does that make sense? With B it was the pharma industry and heavy metal and detailing cars. Whenever I hear something really hard I still get nostalgic for the Mad Monk in Wilmington, NC and a bit of head banging. Don't get me wrong I learned many things that would help me in life the biggest of all being this was the relationship that finally opened my eyes to the hiding.
For the longest time I could not figure out why I was always so worried he was going to break up with me. We were together for 4 years yet I was frantic. Ok, my intuition told me that he probably cheated on me and I DID find out that was true but that is not the point (I just like to point it out). It didn't hit me until I cheated on him with another person what the problem was. I was afraid the B would figure out that I wasn't the person he wanted because...I wasn't sure who I was. I was so hidden, I didn't even know myself. It had gotten so scary and things had gotten so out of hand that I was miserable. I hated me, I hated feeling like I wasn't good enough. I turned to someone else.
Unfortunately, what started out as me being me with someone for the first time since I was six eventually deteriorated into me turning myself inside out again. Only this time, this person was completely and utterly innocent of it. If I had not shown such an enthusiasm for hockey, he would have been ok with it. If I had not been crazy about venison, he would have still wanted me in his life. The problem was, I didn't know what to do other than mold myself into someone else for the other person. Of course that relationship ended as did others that followed it for the same reason and I still didn't realize it.
When P and I got together, it was after I got out of an abusive relationship. I was stripped bare and was still working out how to build myself back up. I was working on it from scratch because well, I wasn't sure where to start. As I built myself up, I guess he saw me, really saw me and liked me then loved me. I love him for that.
I can honestly say that at 35 I have done a 180 from them person I was in my teens and twenties (I know you are supposed to be BUT this is very different). Not all of it is good (just ask my Mom) but it is all ME. I am still figuring it out at 36 but I am making sure that I am not hiding ME from anyone anymore.