Knock, knock…who’s there?

I think there are many people getting to know themselves again now that the world has opened back up post-pandemic. I’m not sure I enjoy all the same things I used to enjoy. For example, I feel much more sensitive to noise and crowds after the COVID-induced hibernation. But lately, I am also realizing that my rediscovery reaches much further than just the after effects of the pandemic. There’s the version of myself pre-COVID, but there are also versions of myself before my head injury, before post-partum depression, before children, and before infertility.

I do a fairly good job at not comparing myself to others, but what I’m realizing is that I’ve been comparing my current self to my previous versions of self…and not in a good way. My version of “old” Marcia was an organized, capable, positive, and social person. She didn’t avoid noisy environments, she didn’t have difficulty concentrating, she didn’t struggle to find enjoyment in social situations, and she didn’t need to pace herself. I liked who I was, and there’s been a certain amount of grief in losing her and admitting that she’s never coming back.

I will never get “old” Marcia back. But no one will ever get back the previous versions of themselves because people are always growing and changing. It’s just that most people regard this as evolution rather than devolution. There’s pride and happiness to be found in change. By comparing my “selves” in this way, I’m viewing the “new” Marcia in a negative light. She is less than what she was before. But what if she’s not?

What if “new” Marcia is exactly who she’s supposed to be? I might not have been as kind to myself if it weren’t for the challenges I’ve faced. For example, I might have put more pressure on myself to keep up with my previous pace. Instead, I’ve prioritized a better work-life balance. I’ve also had some frank conversations with my daughters about brain and mental health. And I’m much less critical of myself and others. I wouldn’t want anyone to judge me based on my low points, so I give others the benefit of the doubt more readily.

What I’m trying to do is focus on the positive elements that “new” Marcia has to offer and take off the rose-coloured glasses associated with the past. I’ve never been a huge fan of pink anyhow! I need to be kind and adapt my approach to my current self, rather than rely on old habits and expectations. I hope others are making the effort to get to know themselves again in this post-COVID resurfacing too. It’s an adjustment, but personally I would like to get to know “new” Marcia better…knock, knock…who’s there?

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