“I give you this to take with you: Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.” – Judith Minty
Today I turn 33 years old. April 29, 1986, ya girl entered the world and changed everyone’s life for the better (lol j/k j/k!). This weekend my husband celebrated me since I planned to be with my family in my hometown today. We saw Avengers: EndGame, went to a Marvel exhibit at the Franklin institute, tried Filipino food for the first time, and just spent a lot of quality time together (one of my love languages). During dinner, over some delicious Sisig and Kare Kare, my husband asked me what I planned on doing with my 33rd year of life. Surprisingly, I riddled off a ton of goals I, at some point (maybe subconsciously idk), planned to accomplish this year. I’m guessing the wine had me super talkative but it still felt really nice to have set goals to accomplish for my year. From growing this blog to reach more people and solidifying a tribe, to being more active as well as expanding my entrepreneurial pursuits with my hair and body care line (Ka’Ru Essentials). But the behind all of those goals, the biggest (although unspoken) goal was to get back to the old me.
Ya’ll, I miss and desire my old self on a regular basis. There is literally always something reminding me of the woman I used to be and how far I am from being her. When I see pictures of my former self, I mark my inner checklist that I need to get back to looking like her. When I’m around people and I find myself wanting to slink away or feeling like I just can’t connect, I’m marking off that I need to get back to being the outgoing, bubbly person I once was. Whenever I need something or want to do something that costs money, I’m checking off that I must get back to being financially independent so that I can stop being a burden (my words). And on and on and on. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I’m always reminded that I’m lacking because I am so different from the person most have grown to know and love.
It seems like the harder I try to get back to “Old D’ani”, the harder it becomes to actually do it. If Old D’ani was always excited and looking forward to going out and mingling with any and every one, this version of me finds that extremely disturbing and avoids it at any cost. If Old D’ani liked to workout and eat super healthy, this version of me struggles to find the motivation and energy to do what I know to be best for me. If Old D’ani had infrequent moments of anxiety and depression, this version finds anxiety and depression to be the norm and the worldview of my life. I seek out my former self so much and never seem to be able to reach her…
Because honestly, she’s dead. Like all the way dead. I mean there are remnants of her, similar to how we say loved ones who pass on “live in our hearts”, but all in all, she’s still dead. And I am grieving her, HARD. Experiencing the 5 stages of grief and everything. I denied that she was gone by telling myself I was exactly the same even with the evident decline of my mental and even physical health. This quickly transitioned into anger because I couldn’t understand why I had to experience these internal struggles which contributed to me losing sight of my old self. I found myself bargaining with myself by trying to convince myself that if I did certain things, I could become her again. That led to being further depressed because nothing worked to bring her back and I felt absolutely hopeless about my life getting better or being how it was. I’ve been weaving in and out of these 4 stages for years, each time getting more and more intense. But today I’m going to add in acceptance.
Old me has died and she is not coming back, and that’s ok. That’s better than ok, because now the person I am meant to be in this season has room to sprout up and grow. This version of me can finally bloom and flourish for as long as she is meant to. This doesn’t mean I won’t slip back into those other stages, because let’s be real, grief and healing have never been linear (and we should stop trying to pretend it is for ourselves and others). But at least now I can be reminded of this acceptance and become more prone to spending time in it. It also doesn’t mean I won’t be encountering another “death day” (don’t worry I won’t try to make that phrase a thing lol), where this current version of me passes on to make room for who I may need to be in the future. So now instead of fighting to get “that old thang back”, I’m fighting for, advocating for, and making space for the me that I am now.
“Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.” -Gerard Way
I read online that there is now a sixth stage of grief: meaning. Currently I’m in a cycle of acceptance and meaning since I’m also seeing that there is meaning to the old me dying. The old me, while likeable, was very private and secretive. She had trouble grasping vulnerability/transparency so being open in this very public way would have never been feasible. And I see meaning/ministry through this blog and budding community. Looks like the old me had to die so that I could actually thrive in my Jesus year 🙂
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17 NASB
Let’s Talk! Can you relate? Have you had moments of grief over not recognizing your current self or desiring to be someone you once were? How do you cope with letting that person go? Let me know in the comments or send me a message on the “Contact” page. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook using the links on this page and connect with me there! Thanks for reading!