Growing up, I was a nature- animal- and horse-loving, artistic, “good kid.”
Of the three, the good kid took the driver’s seat early on.
I was a good girl, the healthy one,the little adult, the [conventionally] smart one, the reliable helper, the easy one from age 6, on.
Layers and nuance were added to that as I matured and learned more: subservience to any authority (including all men,) being completely unable to accept my body and it’s urges/desires, and putting literally everyone else before myself.
My personality as an introverted perfectionist made me so very good at these things.
After a time, the nature, animals, horses and art were subsumed by the need to be and have *all the right things.*
I spent about a decade, starting in my early-twenties, more and more desperately searching for my perfect career. The right career, because- as we all know- what we do is supposed to be the be-all and end-all. Happiness, fulfillment, passion, money, and our selling point to all.
I opened my eyes in my early thirties.
I was out of work because of a chronic pain condition. Depressed and Anxiety ridden, which is somewhat like racing through the world in a dense fog.
Unhappily married, cause who can be happy in a relationship built on lies about yourself- never mind the lies I was told.
I was unfulfilled and sick in every way.
And I plummeted. To say I was burnt-out is an understatement. I had been burnt-out when I was looking for “The Career.”
I look back at her with all the compassion in the world. She tried so hard, at everything… it hurt.
But I had learned my lessons oh, so well! I ignored my Self. All of it. My body was just a thing to hate and abuse, then retroactively treat. When medications didn’t alleviate symptoms, I ignored it as well as I could. I didn’t have emotions. Or, at least, I pushed them so far down that I didn’t notice them.
I had also given up all of the things that had enlivened my mind and soul as a child.
That was where I found a tiny seed of hope, in one self-help book among many.
Over the years, in fits and starts, I nurtured that seed. And it grew and blossomed into the most glorious woman I couldn’t have ever imagined; trapped in society, as I had been.
What I found was my True Nature. And within that, I got in touch with all my other natures, again. Mother Nature, Human Nature, Animal Nature.
I am wild, casual, uncouth, dirty-minded, love being outside and physically active, love listening to people talk about their passions, and I have made myself free to follow my own path- each time I figure out what it is.
Because it’s a process that never ends. I have a lifetime of training, socialization, enculturation, and repression to overcome, one decision, one thought at a time.
And oh, how incredibly worth it, it is!