Photo by rosefirerising

Photo by rosefirerising

Are you the same person you were a year ago?  Or three?  Are you sure?

Just this week, I realized that I’m not the same. Something changed me.

In my case, it was cancer. Discovering I had breast cancer at 33 and beating it into submission with my bare and bloody fists forged me into a different person, and I didn’t even notice.

Feeling Change

Do you ever wonder why don’t feel like a grown up?

Think about it.  Don’t you feel exactly like you felt when you were 5 or 12 or 17?

Outwardly, circumstances have changed, but inwardly we believe we’re the same. Detecting change in ourselves is hard.

As I was fighting cancer, I didn’t feel like I was changing.  It was just me…with more doctor’s appointments. When it was over, I just wanted life to go back to normal.  Ann 1.0.

But that was impossible, because cancer had changed me in more ways than one.

The Difference in Me

I assumed life would go back to normal, because in my head, I was the same.  But my heart was different.  And if your mind and your heart don’t agree, that’s a recipe for some dark times indeed.

Unraveling my dark times started with a confession I made to myself.  I looked back over the past three years and realized that I have not been living up to my own expectations. I’ve let a lot of people down – people who count on me to be a superhero every day. I felt my behavior was not in line with who I am inside.

Then it hit me – what if who I am inside is not who I think I am inside?  What if I’ve changed?

Changing does not make it okay to let people down or do less than stellar work. But not living up to your own expectations can be a sign that you’re trying to be a person you no longer are.

You can still be awesome, but maybe it’s time to be awesome at something else.  Something that’s more you.

What’s Up With This Post?

This post is odd.  It’s part mea culpa, to be sure, but it’s also a plea to look deep within. Examine your trials with compassion and, if there’s a disconnect between who you are and who you were, honor that.

Maybe you haven’t had cancer, or lost a limb, or a child or something so traumatic.  But if you feel that something isn’t quite right, that could be a sign that you’ve changed and it’s time to realign your life to the new you.

We read in the self-help literature that our values rarely change, and maybe they don’t, but they sure do get reshuffled sometimes.

The bottom line is this: you can’t grow into the person you’re meant to become if you stay tethered to the person you were.  It might be time to let go.