• jen_obrien

Finding Who You Were

I'm 42 years old on the day this was written, and when I look back to the women, I was at 25, I wonder where she went? Same question to the 15-year-old and the 8-year-old. Lately, when I recall memories from these times in my life they feel like completely different people.

I'm not looking for the girl who escaped all her problems with drugs and never felt pretty, but I'd love to find the girl that was silly and weird. The girl who wore a vintage pea coat as a dress to school with a wooden treasure box as a purse. The loud, funny, crazy girl who would dance on beds in college with her friends to Pat Benatar. Who would give Tony Award winning performances in her bedroom with no regard for who might be able to hear her or who it would bother. The girl that never thought about monetizing her skills, and didn't even own a TV because, "Who has the time?".

In a recent session with a spiritual counselor I was encouraged to listen to the music she liked. Hello NKOTB Hanging Tough album! Eat the foods she like (regardless of the calories). Yes, that means pepperoni pizza, gyros and General Tso’s chicken. I've been doing a few a things here and there, with no real results other than heartburn. lol. It's fun, but I haven't felt any more connected to her until this week.

Usually I only listen to music in my car, but with the pandemic I haven't been driving much. I decided to check out Niall Horan's (formerly of One Direction) new album. Something about a cute boy singing romantic, wistful lyrics brought about a rush of feelings and emotions. My first instinct was to shut it down, and go to bed, but I pushed myself to let the feelings come. I got a glimpse of my 25-year-old self in those feelings. She is still in me, and I got the sense that she would love to rise again.

We all go through heartbreak, grief, and struggle in life, and it does change us. We learn to survive. We learn to cope. We begin to sort out what we want from our life and get focused on results. But I encourage everyone to reflect on how they've changed. Take back those little sparks from your past and reignite them. Find your silly 8-year-old. Find your loud-mouthed 15-year-old. Dance on a bed to Pat Benatar. And, incorporate those things you used to love back into life. Honor these people you have been in your life now. If you've been feeling like something in life is missing, and you just can't put your finger on it...it might be YOU! All the small pieces of you, that got left in the past.

Jennifer O’Brien is a spiritual counselor, minister in training, corporate video producer and voice over talent out of Seattle. She is currently on a personal sabbatical and taking time off to write and reflect. You can connect with her in spirit, and through her writings at the fed collective.

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