Somewhere along the way I lost myself. And not in a good way. No, somewhere in my timeline I ceased to be and melded with those around me. I slowly, quietly, and sometimes unknowingly gave up piece after piece of myself.
Sometimes I gave willingly- like when I would opt to do an activity my husband or daughter wanted to do when it wasn't something I had any interest in. Little bits of myself were given away as I tried to be strong and supportive of my loved ones. Those are the kinds of things you do when you love someone.
Other times I've given my time to help someone in need. And many times I've sat and listened and cared, gladly exchanging those pieces of me for the peace it brought to those who needed someone to be there for them.
But there were many other times that I gave up big chunks of myself because it took too much energy to say otherwise. At times it's seemed easier to capitulate than to speak up and say "No! I deserve to have my voice heard. I matter too!" Too often I find myself trying to find a way to fit myself into others' lives, changing my needs and desires like a chameleon, attempting to blend into what's expected of me. Too much of the time I've acted out of fear- fear of abandonment, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being accepted, fear of standing out.
Taking a hard look at my life today though, I see that what matters to me isn't what consumes most of my time and energy. I'm not saying that I should be selfish and focus only on myself and what I want- but when I deny myself so much of what I am at my core, I place myself firmly on a slow path to oblivion. Soon I fear that I'll fail to exist entirely. All that will be left will be an empty shell, molded into whatever is wanted of it.
The question is: how do I find myself again? How do I remember who I was and what I wanted in life? How do I sing my song after having no voice for so long?