The Roles We Play

Who has society told you to be, friend?

Has it whispered lies to you, forcing you to take a form that isn’t quite right, making you feel you’re supposed to play a role that isn’t meant for you?

Have you sawed off the bits of you that don’t fit, stuffed the unseemly parts away, and hid away the parts of yourself that you’ve been told are not acceptable?

Do you contort, twist, and shrivel, making yourself small, shrinking down to fit into a role that wasn’t made to fit all of you?

So often we look outside of ourselves to decide who it is we are meant to be, plucking the roles like overripe apples and gobbling them down without checking for rot and worms, assuming that since everyone else is eating – we should too.

It is only when we get sick, squirming at the ill fit of the role and the cancer of discontent and unhappiness that has grown inside of us, that we realize we had fallen prey to poison.

Some people will ignore the itch to pull of the costume they’ve donned, say that they just need to get accustomed and used to it – be content with what they have, where they’ve ended up, who they are – never waking up to the fact that the dream they’ve thought they created is actually a nightmare in disguise.

We are all, every human being on this planet, as unique as a fingerprint and as diverse as snowflakes, because of this there is no common role, costume, or off the rack disguise, that will fit each of us.

So, when we look outside of ourselves to decide who it is we are mean to be, how we’re supposed to behave, what we’re supposed to do, what the right answer is for us…

the answer we find, my friend, will always be wrong.

Nothing we pick up and try on will fit the way it should.

The only place you can look for the right answer is within.

There is no one way to be, no one way to live, no one place to find answers.

There is only YOUR way.

I tell you this as someone who tried, for a very long time, to do all the ‘right’ things and follow the prescribed path laid out before me and I happily stuffed myself into the role society dictated for me…

Graduating high school, attending church, going to college, getting engaged, waiting for marriage for sex, beginning my career, and settling into the role of wife and caretaker.

When my husband left after only three years together there was no warning.

There was no painful downfall we walked to divorce. Instead, it was a shocking exodus executed while I was out of town, one that left me broken and aghast as I’d DONE everything ‘right’.

I’d looked outside of myself and put on all the things that I thought I was supposed to, paying no heed to the fact that nothing fit quite right.

My life, many of my relationships, hobbies, my marriage, was like poorly put together IKEA furniture.

It looked good from afar and was easily affordable, but don’t move it, and definitely don’t test its fortitude under stress or duress.

It wasn’t until I went through my divorce and was forced to take a good, long, hard look at myself that I realized how ill fitting the life I had created for myself was.

You see, when I learned that my husband had left… my first reaction wasn’t heartbreak, it was a sense of failure and a wondering how I would tell and face people again.

This was such a fear of mine that the taking of my own life seemed a preferable option.

The role I’d squeezed myself into was ripped to shreds. The pieces left to decay around me. I was naked without it.

To have your reality forcibly shattered is hard.

Growth is always hard, but to have it thrust upon me felt impossible.

Being able to stretch into the roles that fit me, ones that I determined and decided was not easy, learning to to trust myself as I make these choices for myself is still an ongoing battle.

Change hurts like a motherfucker – but it’s worth it.

I was invited to create my own reality, instead of stuffing myself into some cookie cutter role that I thought I had to fill, and I picked up all the shreds of myself and I put them back together into a design of MY choosing.

Not everyone wakes up to the nightmares that they’ve forced themselves to live based on what society has dictated and told us life is…

But if you do wake up, if you’ve asked yourself why your life doesn’t seem to fit, why you feel you’ve had to shrink yourself, cutting off pieces of yourself, and – while you have done everything ‘right’ – nothing FEELS right…

Follow that call inward and find out what YOU want, who YOU want to be, how YOU want to live.

Throw the damn IKEA furniture away and build your own damn palace.

Tear the ill-fitting costume off, rip it to shreds, then pick the pieces up and make a role perfectly crafted and created by you, for you.

This, my friend, is what we are meant for.

To forge our own paths, figure out who we want to be as we exist in the world, and create our own staring role.

As long as we attempt to force ourselves within expectations we will always feel trapped… we were not meant to conform to roles.. like an animal trapped in a cage… we were meant to be free to write and create our own.

Always,
Your Trusted Friend ❤

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