“There is only one you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself. ~ Anthony Rapp
I seem to have, these days, a deep psychological need to be myself. I hope I can figure out what, or who, that is.
When I was a young child and a teenager, I had a number of teachers who told me they liked me and enjoyed having me in class because I was not pretentious. I was straight forward. I was consistently the same personality. They didn’t have to wonder which Pat was going to be in class from day-to-day. I was who I was. I never understand quite what they were trying to tell me at the time, especially the young child version of me. But I understood that they were bestowing a special something upon me.
I now understand clearly what they were saying. I hope I have kept some of that quality about me throughout my adulthood. I know, however, that I haven’t always done it well. There were times when I put on various masks in order to be the person I thought my ex-husbands wanted me to be. I recognize that much of it was my perception of what I was supposed to be as a wife and a mother. I imagine I got those perceptions from the dysfunction of my family of origin and from the society of my growing up years. I am happy to say that I never went so far as to vacuum the floors in high heels and a dress. (Yes, I’m that old.) That’s what the media were bombarding us very young mothers and wives with back then. It tends to make you think you’re somehow less than you should be. But then I read The Women’s Room by Marilyn French and started to understand the insanity of those images we’d been fed.
By the time D and I got married I had developed into a mother-of-three would-be hippie with long, straight hair, blue jeans, t-shirt and no bra. D’s dad called me an equal-libber. And I was. I Still am. D and I both still wear blue jeans and t-shirts but I’ve added a bra.
Somewhere in the middle of this second marriage D and I became respectable. He started making a lot of money. I think we both enjoyed the privileges of affluence. Maybe we enjoyed it too much. Maybe we forgot what was really important. Maybe we forgot to be ourselves.