Updated: Jan 25
Bonjour, mon ami!
My story: I have always been torn between my true self and the world I have to assimilate in. Well before the pandemic, we wear masks based on who we're interacting with. We mostly do it to protect other parts of ourselves. It's a little bit like disassociating from your body. You're there but going through the motions, the autopilot is on and you can command back control or not. Whenever you do peak out with your real self, the eyebrows go up, you start to feel insecure, and then you put the mask back on (assume the role). I’m asking you to not put that fake mask on, but instead to investigate the old and the new, your old and new self, to discover what is important to you.
My Red Self represents my more traditional values that I grew up with. I am a cis female and the expectation is that I cook, clean, take care of the children, create fabulous holiday experiences for my family, all while looking fabulous and like I don't eat anything real. I'm expected to be barefoot and pregnant. I'm expected not to work full time or at all. And society tries to reinforce this as a good thing. It is not a good thing because I am a multi-dimensional person with many sides. You cannot fit me into a perfect little box because I am far from perfect.
My Green Self represents the rebel, the challenger, the new and open. I have seen and experienced what miscommunication and abandonment can do to a person. My Green Self breaks down that miscommunication by being true, honest, and open. My Green Self is not afraid to ask, "Why do we do it that way? Why?" Don't be scared to ask why because this is when we identify the holes in the old traditions and can recognize how we can make it better.
More importantly do the work inside to un-condition yourself from the roles you feel were assigned to you but do not fit. The way I made old traditions new again is that I made it fun. I still look cute, but like funky cute in my leggings. I still cook, but only my favorite dishes that I can throw down on and my husband cooks his favorite recipes too. We have a real partnership in providing for our family and we don't get a trophy for showing up. We take turns cooking and cleaning. We jump in when the other person is struggling and needs help. And most importantly we constantly say thank you to the other person for helping without being asked. There are no pre-assigned roles. You do what needs to be done in that moment.
So if you feel torn between two worlds because you have strong traditional older influences from the previous generations, don't dismiss them entirely. Just ask, "why that way?" And be okay with saying things like, "That worked then, but this is what works for us today." Stand up for yourself, speak your truth, and live by example baby!
Walk that walk, talk that talk. You have nothing to lose.
You were meant to be here, so use the voice that God gave you. Amen!