I go about my life as I always have. On the outside everything is the same. I dress the same. My hair is the same. I drive the same car, and talk to the same people.
On the outside, I pretend that everything is normal and nothing has changed. But on the inside, it’s all I think about.
To my kids’ teachers or the neighbor down the street, I am still the same.
But I feel like a fraud.
I feel like I am living an image that is no longer me. I still want it to be me, but as the days pass I am finding that I might never get back there.
I’m still living the same life, but with blurred edges. A life between two existences.
No one outside my family knows that my husband lost his job a year ago. I’m not good at sharing my problems. It’s not my way.
No one knows how odd I feel inside.
I feel like I need to continue to put up this front. A front that says, Hey, I’m one of you. I belong, really, I do.
But then there’s another side that says, You aren’t one of them anymore.
I don’t think it’s all about the money because I’ve gone without less in my life. A lot less.
I think I just let myself slide into an existence that was not truly me. And now I’m coming back out of it slowly, finally realizing it now, even though I was yanked from it a year ago.
I slowly find myself reconnecting with the old me. The me that came up from nothing. The me that learned the value of a dollar at a very young age. The me that cut my teeth on hard work and frugality.
It’s hard not to feel like I’ve been knocked down a peg or two.
But at the same time, I am rediscovering my survival instincts. I’m rediscovering my fortitude in tough situations. I’m rediscovering my long-dormant ability to hustle and take care of business.
I am rediscovering myself.
In time, I hope to find my place again. A place where I am at-ease and sure of my decisions, though I know that’s tough for anyone.
In the meantime, I’ll feel my way blindly along a new path. I’ll do everything I need to for my kids to feel secure. I’ll do everything I can to help my husband as he feels his own way along this path, too.
With change comes growth. And with change comes pain. But with change also comes realization and truth.
With change comes the real me.