What does it look like?  Being me – what does it look like?  What does it feel like?

The adage:  If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.  Given I’m the duck in the scenario, what exactly does a duck look, swim and quack like?

For a long time now, I’ve not been able to answer this question.  I’ve not been able to pinpoint what or who I am.  I lost myself, I’ve pointed that out on a couple different occasions now through my writing here.  I buried that part of me:  the part who I want to be, who I would love to be, so deep that it’s been hard to figure out what it is I’m supposed to be doing and who I’m supposed to be.  And even then, throughout the years, it never was even really a question to ask.  It was all buried so deep inside me that I didn’t even know that I was unhappy not being myself aside from just being unhappy, in general.

As the unhappiness continued, I’ve become more antsy.  I’ve become more impatient.  I’ve become more intolerable (to myself and others).  I walked around with a big bag of unhappiness, sharing it with whomever decided to stay around long enough to deal with it.

But that’s no longer good enough.  I don’t want to carry around the big bag of unhappiness anymore.

I don’t want to share the parts of me that aren’t me anymore.

I finally pinpointed that the reason I allowed this burying process to happen was motherhood.  Somehow, after birthing my children, I decided that who I was or what I wanted to do was impractical and unrealistic.  Thinking back, I don’t ever remember hearing any negative feedback from anyone that discouraged me from doing what it was that I wanted to do.  And, as a matter of fact, I don’t think I ever really received any positive feedback either.  I never really talked about it with anyone, I never shared with anyone.

One day I just decided that what I wanted to do and be wasn’t good enough.  One day I decided that because I became a mother, it was my duty to put my life, my dreams and my aspirations on hold, potentially forever.

In examining my unhappiness, darkness and depression, I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions.  Why am I not happy?  Why is my life always like this?  Why do I find it so hard to relate to others?  Why would I rather retreat to the safety and comfort of my own bed than to be out there and shine?

After many years of unraveling all the layers, I’ve been finally able to see what it is that I need to be to be me.

I’m part of a philosophy that teaches us to remember the truth of who and what we are, which is that we are all perfect expressions of God (insert Source, Spirit, the Universe, Love – whatever name for It that makes you comfortable).  I am coming to realize that it doesn’t matter who I am supposed to be or what I am supposed to be.  I am realizing that I have that choice.  I can choose to be what I want and who I want and that I will forever be supported.

I’m finding that the more I set the intention of what and who I want to be, the opportunities to do so are presenting themselves more and more.  I’m finding it easier to embrace those things.  I’m finding that I am able to step fully into those beautiful and perfect things.

I need to remember this when the sadness hits.  I need to remind myself daily of all of this.  I need to remember to stop sweating the petty stuff; stop getting bogged down in details that don’t have to define me if I don’t them to.

And permission.  I need to remember to give myself permission to be happy, to do what I love, to be myself.  My friend told me a long time ago that I need to change the rules of how others interact and respond to me.  I realize, only now, that I need to change the rules for myself, as well.  I need to be easy on myself, forgive myself and allow myself to live.

What’s life for if I’m not living it?  It’s time to live.  It’s time to be me.