An Identity is something we all crave and desire. A sense of belonging, of acceptance externally but knowing oneself intimately is the ultimate goal that sometimes gets lost. I think I have always questioned who I am and what I stand for. Having "things" be it cars, houses, nice clothes, going on nice holidays have always been welcomed but spiritually such things do not nourish me. Never have.
At the age of 34 I got sober, haven't had a drink since, though I have wanted to at times over the last couple of years, but the majority of the time this hasn't been a hardship because taking myself away from such distractions gave me a chance to truly look at myself. I worked very hard at peeling the layers off in order to better understand what drives me, what satisfies me and heals me.
At 38 I met my birth mum for the first time. I was adopted virtually from birth and fooled myself into believing that there was no emotional hangover from this, I was too young to know. I guess that was also the medical view 40 odd years ago too. It is now widely accepted that being separated from your birth mum at any age leaves an indelible mark. You know, you may not be able to articulate it but the feeling is there and unavoidable however you try and mask it. Just accepting this truth and starting the journey to find her shifted something internally.
In between these 2 events I met katie. I fell in love with her the moment I met her. She was beautiful, fragile, strong, funny, honest, compassionate and brave. I saw it all right in that moment and I knew I would marry her. Minor problem, she didn't feel the same...... I used to joke that when I hugged her hello she would shiver like she'd caught hives which was funny but also true. It took almost 2 years of patient friendship and wooing but when the penny dropped it went through the floor to the basement. About time!!
I am sure I will speak about all of these events to you in greater detail some day but my point is identity. Through all of these events I learnt about me. Who I was, where I came form, what I stood for and what I could become.
Having started to truly understand myself katie turned it all on its head. It wasn't me anymore it was us.
She gave me so much just by being herself. She showed me how to love unconditionally without judgment, without fear. I trusted her with my life as she did hers with me. We were truly a partnership. We encouraged each other to follow our dreams, whatever they may be. I was the lucky husband who never got nagged for going cycling each weekend with the boys or going away to take part in a marathon or triathlon abroad. She knew what it meant to me, knew it was part of me and she encouraged me to do it. I naturally allowed her the same. Love is freedom, not a cage.
My life changed forever when I met katie, I changed forever when I met katie but I am changed yet again.
Who am I?
I guess I am just starting to come to terms with feeling my way around this question. To discovering how to move forward embracing her and her gifts to me whilst acknowledging she is not here. How do I become grateful for our time together without crumbling at the realisation of such a loss. Time will tell and hopefully I will be able to tell you too.
Love and hugs to you all.