A song from Oscar and Hammerstein’s musical, ‘The King and I‘, has been running through my mind all day. In addition to being a catchy tune, some of the lyrics run as follows:
Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me.
Getting to know you,
Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you,
Getting to know what to say
Haven’t you noticed
Suddenly I’m bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I’m learning about you
Day by day.
After a decade in an increasingly unhealthy relationship, I began to lock away the pieces of myself that contributed to the conflict. They existed, but buried under so many layers that now, despite my freedom, I’m still struggling to find them all again. My core beliefs are instinctual, they revolve around loyalty, a new recognition for the need of self-care, loving others as I would like to be loved.
But I’ve come to notice that the basic core identity of myself struggles to relate to other things like politics and other current issues, or even musical preferences. It’s like everything about me has been compressed and compacted for so long, it is impossible to unfold and reveal the words and thoughts that connect who I am to the things that matter in life.
Now that I am beginning to re-engage in the world more and more, I’m finding more of a desire to pull those pieces out. To examine them. To get to know myself more intimately, so that when others ask me, I can be more authentic. So I can feel more confident in myself.
For me, knowing those things seems to equate to building a stronger foundation upon which I can stand, something that I can use to lend confidence to my words. To help me stop retreating from conversations where opinions are sought. I want to recognize and value and know intimately the things that guide my choices and instincts.
As I am rejoining life more and more, I have a choice. A choice to continue as I have for the last decade, to take a back seat in life, always holding back so as not to rock the boat. Or, instead, I can find a way to be myself, and to recognize my thoughts and opinions and beliefs matter too.
Maybe there are core beliefs and values I will encounter that I dislike. Maybe there are ones I would like that I am not giving the full freedom of expression towards. It’s not a new year yet, but this is certainly my resolution for going forward.
Before I get too deep into any new relationships, I think I need to get to know myself a little better.