I know I have said it again and again. I have changed in the last two and half years. Radically. Evolving still. Into someone I never knew I could be. I was stripped of everything I once was. Rising from the ashes. There are times I think back and I am flabbergasted of myself. A shell of a person seeking happiness. And to reach happiness I needed perfection. Perfection was the ultimate goal. Now I see that for me to have perfect, I denied myself. The glass surrounding my heart was full of shards leading me on a path of hurt. To myself. To others.
Pride and prejudice.
I don’t know when it began. In college, I was a pretty open and accepting individual. I was friends with all types of people coming from different walks of life. I assumed the best. Looked for the positive. Somehow in the next decade I lost that.
Perfectionism became a coping mechanism for me when life became messy. I needed to have control when everything was spinning around me. Perfect life. Perfect wife. Perfect mom. Perfect everything. A really sad facade. Pretending to be someone else. Expressing happiness when I wasn’t. Not being okay wasn’t going to happen.
This tumbled over into friendships. I held myself apart because I was scared they would see who I really was. Someone who was barely holding her shit together. Marriage on the rocks. Motherhood struggles. I can’t show other women my mess. My pride was in the way. Perfect was ruling my life. I didn’t need anyone’s help. I was strong enough to do this alone.
Other people’s opinions became my own. Especially about other people. Rather than get to know someone, I assumed I knew them. Rather than following my heart and morals, I took on someone else’s. Prejudice. I never gave them a chance. Oh I would have been friendly, social, and nice. But it was all on the surface. Nothing deeper. Nothing real. And I was perfect Katie, pretending to have it all.
Over the weekend, I went out with two friends. Both I knew of in college. Partied with. Mutual friends together. Pre-divorce Katie would never have developed a relationship with one of them. Post-divorce Katie considers this friend part of the tribe. Vital for my survival. I have told her this. She is aware. I have quite a few friends where I have admitted my past discretion. I even did this with my in-laws. Pride and prejudice. Those two were dictating more in my life then I realized.
See, it is in the messy, hard, dark, and uncontrolled part of life where I have found the truest of friendships. Once my glass house shattered around me, I saw how I was living wasn’t really living at all. Perfect cannot exist. Pride isn’t always good and powerful. Prejudice hinders real and deep connections.
Although my divorce was forced upon me and I grieve the loss, I am grateful for many things that have transpired out of this death. Friendships I never would have had. Friendships I took for granted. Family I brushed aside. Today, I am working on restoring what took years to dissolve.
I think about how much I could have missed out on. If I was still my former self. Friendships that are real, deep, and meaningful. Real happiness. Not just the skimming on the surface happiness that comes and goes so quickly. True joy and happiness in what I have in my life in spite of the hard. An unexpected path in writing and sharing my story. Before, exposing myself so fully and completely to the world, never would have happened. Ever. Now it is a part of who I am.
I am conscious of myself and my actions today. Just this week, my pride wanted to take control. I can do it. I don’t need help. I don’t need help I didn’t ask for. Yet, I swallowed that ugly pride and said a gracious thank you instead. Prejudice pops up too. I am meeting fellow Her View From Home writers this coming weekend. Assumptions don’t belong if I want to further these friendships. And I do. I really really do.
I am no Mr. Darcy but my rumble with pride and prejudice is just as a wonderful love story.