Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Self Definition and Family

I get excited over my thought processes. Does that sound weird or what? But I do. It’s like my mind takes a topic and goes off on an adventure of exploration. The subject is turned upside down and looked at from various angles. Yes, it is all from my own mind, so there is the personal spin with my beliefs and how I view the world. I will also admit that, as much as I try to be nonjudgmental, I am human and cannot help how I feel about certain issues. But I still can see different sides and I do try to be objective and accepting.

One thought that always weighs on me is the fear of offending anyone. I would NEVER want to do that! My ramblings are, to use the popular term, “all about me.” My choice in how I live is mine and I accept that others make their own choices. I suspect I worry about what others think because of the need to be accepted. I may not see things the way you do or our beliefs may differ, but it’s important to allow those differences.

As I said, my thought processes are an adventure and just like when I go on a physical trip, I want to talk about and share what I discover on my mental journeys. The hardest part in writing about this is that my mind jumps all over the place and words flow much quicker than I can type. 

So today I got off on the subject of love, especially new love when you are soooooo in LOOOVE that you feel you feel like you are going to die if you don’t hear from so and so. I remember those feelings… and learned to hate them. There always seemed to be something wrong with totally giving up the self for someone else.

Well, that comment possibly opens a can of worms and it led to thinking about definitions. The topic of love is difficult because there are so many ways to love and how to love depending on who and what. I don’t believe love have to be the same for everyone. So, does it all come down to who we are as individuals as how we love? Perhaps it’s about self definition.

I also thought about gender roles. I grew up in a time when women were still expected to get married and raise a family. Oh, there were the “odd” women throughout the ages who chose not to, but it took incredible strength for them to buck the system. Early times had women who chose not to marry and have kids of their own taking care of parents or helping to raise siblings’ families; (which meant they still ended up taking care of children and still under a man’s rule). Other women became artists, writers, photographers, and such, which was a huge achievement in times that were so male-dominated. 

So, does it come down to self-definition? It took many years for me to figure out that I am one of those “oddball” women. I never felt I fit in, I never wanted the same things other girls/women wanted, and I felt there was something wrong with me for it. I didn’t know how to define myself. I didn’t know who I was because how I felt on the inside didn’t match the labels associated with me; labels and things that I felt I had to be to fit in.

The years and life experience allowed me to be more accepting of myself. When I was able to allow the self to be what I felt on the inside, a whole new world opened up. I finally knew who I was (am)… but it’s not always black and white and it changes… as life changes.

If you make a list of everything you are, what’s on top? Also, would that list change from one day to the next? My first thoughts about myself are: writer, photographer, artist and I am proud on one hand and happy to say that. However, on the other hand, I feel guilty. Shouldn’t I be putting my family first? What does that say about me if I don’t?

I love my life and I love my family, but when it comes to family, I feel I’ve let them down. Maybe it is the creative mentality; that artist within, that isolates me and makes me not want the same types of things other women want. I’m still trying to figure this out.

Maybe I have to talk about this because I want absolution from those I love. I want their forgiveness because I am unable to BE that normal mother/grandmother woman. And maybe the oddball/normal is only in my mind.

I definitely plan to explore this further as the topic expands and delves deeper. For instance, how well do we know our loved ones? Is how we see them really who they are? I hope to follow up on this tomorrow.

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