Sunday, May 3, 2009

Who am I anyway?

I was thinking about this post and I realized something. I have certain "rules" in my head about how to behave in order to be a "good" whatever - mom, wife, friend, yada yada. When I think about what I want to be in this life, I think I want to be a good "whatever". Not to be all cliche or anything but I want to leave this world a better place for my having been alive. But I realize that all those rules I thought I had to follow - the musts and shoulds - are bullshit. They're bullshit because they were built on a shaky foundation.

In the legal world, we have a saying "Bad facts make bad law." This usually refers to cases where the facts of the case favor one decision but the precedent (the way similar cases have been treated in the past) favors a different decision. If you make decisions based on the facts of the particular case rather than based on long-standing legal precedent, you will end up with bad law. I know, you're wondering why this little diversion is relevant . . .

My rules are pretty much all based on the disfunction in my life. My parent's divorce, living in a blended family, having an eating disorder as a teen, being in an abusive relationship, blah blah blah. I created my rules in an attempt to cope with the situation of the moment. I tried to figure out how to make other people happy - primarily those people who were not worried in the least about whether or not I was happy.

I've felt adrift for much of my life and never really understood why. I think it's because my identity, my value system, has been tied to the wants, needs, thoughts and ideas of other people. It's not that I never act selfishly (I do that way more than I want to admit). But I never really came up with my own value system or my own rules for living. I don't know how to view myself separate and apart from how other people view me.

I guess it's time for me to come up with my own rules for living. I'll let you know what I come up with!
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