Ms. Just, You Are Now Dismissed

Those who are close to me know that lately I’ve been going through a bit of an identity crisis. I look at myself now and see how much I’ve changed since my divorce 3.5 years ago and I am amazed by how far I’ve come and also a bit dismayed at all that I have lost. I was talking to my friend Sara the other day and was lamenting the fact that the Destiny! who took her exclamation point just a few short years ago has become simply Destiny Just. That passion, that zest for life and work and love has gone dormant. And it’s not just because I broke up with my pretend boyfriend, Donnie Wahlberg. This has been the case long before he started kissing anything and anyone that came near him, no matter the cooties that they clearly carry. This is a bona fide acute case of “holy shit, what has happened to me?” I only hope it isn’t terminal. 

I am certain that part of this sudden self-awareness stems from the fact that when I look at myself, even before I became Destiny!, I was a bit of a maniac. In my college days I couldn’t settle on a single major, instead juggling two and adding two minors to my resume as well. As senior class president, I surged full force like the Pamplona bulls, losing friends along the way because, well, my way was the right way. I cringe at the bravado that I used to have, but long for the confidence that lay underneath.

In driver’s education oh-so-many years ago my instructor was teaching us the rules of the road and warned us about the stale green. The stale green was something to be feared, like the sudden need to pass gas in the pew at church and no way to do it discretely. He reiterated his rule many times—when you see a stale green light, a light that has been green for as long as you’ve seen it when approaching from afar, you lay off the accelerator and cover your brakes. This is something that I have done inherently since I was 15 without a thought. Only it occurred to me the other day that I’ve been applying the stale green rule to my life. And it sucks.

I should see the green light in my career and take it for what it is—an acknowledgment that it’s time for me to punch it Margaret and put the pedal to the metal. No longer should I settle for the irregularity of the freelance work that has kept me afloat for the past four years; it’s time for me to take my very marketable skills—ones that I am proud of—and turn them into a full-time job with benefits.

That stale green should instead inspire me to keep going, perhaps signaling that it has waited around just long enough for me to pass through, giving me the confidence that I am on the right path and will perhaps reinvigorate my former self. Why should I cover my figurative brakes when approaching new friendships, new adventures, and new challenges? That’s not me…that’s Ms. Just who has taken over Destiny!’s body.

As for love, well, that’s the only place I can justify the stale-green-watch-for-it-to-turn-yellow kind of attitude. While I am one to fall head over heels into the soul entwining, death can’t even separate us kind of love, right now that’s on the back burner as I focus on me. Once I rediscover Destiny!, then I know the perfect partner will come along and accept both me and my passionate soul.

As I was searching through past writing prompts to help me with a blog topic, I found one entitled, “Who I Am.” I reread it and teared up at the raw emotion that it conveyed and one that I am determined to recapture. I’ll leave you with that paragraph.

I am a mother. I am a lover. I am a friend to the end. I am a daughter, a granddaughter, a niece, and a sister. An independent partner, trusting and trustworthy, I know the truth and the truth knows me. I am an open book to the one who is strong enough and brave enough to turn the pages until the final sentence. I am a protector and a fighter, a creator and a destroyer. I dream like a child with the self-awareness of a sage. I find strength in patience, joy in acceptance, and peace through perseverance. I am a lover of the earth and a believer in life’s adventures, from the daily comforts of routine to the magic carpet rides of my kids’ hopes and future fantasies. A passionate soul with a tempered spirit, a giver of love in its many forms, a recipient of life through death, I am grateful and proud and perfectly human. I am Destiny!

I love you all, some more than others.

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