The Adventure Of Meadmin
My self-discovery journey has been long and arduous, yet the most liberating experience of my life. It wasn’t until my mid-30’s that I became aware of my personality type. This set off a spiral of discovery, awakening, and forgiveness that propelled me to explore how I became the woman I am today, why I made the choices I did, and further help map my future with grace and understanding.
I will highlight my personal traits upfront to help lay the foundation of how I grew to own and recognize the in’s and out’s of myself.
Plain and simple, I am hedonistic through and through. I am extremely adventurous, spontaneous, adaptable, optimistic, generous, and witty. I possess a high-risk tolerance and thrive in crisis management and competitive environments. Recognition is significant for my personality – I must receive it. I value fun, humor, variety, and freedom. I absolutely love people and thrive on human interaction. One of my deepest needs is to be a part of a group, a strong sense of belonging. I operate from the gut – whatever feels right at the moment I’ll act on it without logic or any depth of reasoning whatsoever.
On the flipside, commitments are a struggle for me. I am bored easily and am constantly looking for the next thrill. Self-discipline is a longshot unless it relates to athletics or something I am extremely passionate about. And routine, oh goodness… I equate routines as insanity. I can be plagued with indecisiveness and inconsistency and oftentimes unpredictable. Patience is not a virtue of mine – working on that one, thankful for my kids for being my teachers. I am a people pleaser and a perfectionist. Oh am I ever… this particular discovery was significant in how I understood many aspects of my adolescence.
And so I begin…
As they say, I was a natural athlete. I submerged myself in sports and my teammates. The like-mindedness, camaraderie, and competitiveness kept me afloat in times of family turmoil. My coaches became my full-time proverbial parents, outside of the limited attentiveness I received from my actual divorced parents. Being torn apart at such a young age, my siblings and I were thrown into court-ordered visits with my dad 3 hours away. This separation created a mountain of instability and uncertainty. I quickly cultivated the belief that nothing good lasts.
I was heavily criticized as a child. Since time with my dad was limited, bi-monthly visits were crammed with all sorts of ‘parenting advice. I’d get an earful from my jealous stepmom of everything we were doing wrong, the judgment of how we dressed and what choices we were making, etc. Being told how much we cost in child support spawned unworthiness. My mom also vented to all of us how much it costs to raise children. This was the moment lack mentality had a stronghold on me. I felt like such a burden and wasn’t worth the energy nor money necessary for the ‘extras’ in life.
Early in my adolescence, I felt detached and displaced. I can remember running away at the age of four! I always had a sense of escaping; running from something…anything. Early in my teens, there was an attempt to end my life, but in all honesty, my intentions were to attract undivided attention more than anything. My home life didn’t offer the attentiveness I so needed.
The lack of security, recognition, and unworthiness manifested into a chameleon-like personality in order to be fully accepted by my family and peers. I became adaptable to nearly every circumstance. Naturally, the people pleaser in me matured as I maneuvered my youth. I was a social butterfly. I longed for inclusion among my peers and school groups, but adolescent dynamics don’t necessarily allow that to happen. Instinctively, classmates manifest exclusion by unapologetically slapping labels and judgment on each other. I was categorized as ‘perfect’ who ‘had it all’ and was constrained to specific groups from various achievements in school and my extra-curricular activities. The role model’s stature was too much pressure and responsibility. It was too predictable, boring, and ‘clean’ for me. Any successful prosperous moments in my youth attracted ridicule and judgment. It was such a vulnerable and unsafe space. The bad far outweighed the positive. Too much attention, more so, positive attention, grew an even larger opposing crowd. Peers and parents alike would be vile and vulgar toward me – I quickly created the belief that excelling and succeeding was not a good thing. Keep your head down…do good, yes, just not too good.
I absolutely despised being categorized based on mere judgment. No one knew the sorrow I carried in my heart; the struggles and obstacles I went through and would continue to go through. I began to operate with a motive to never be perfect as that was a major trigger of mine.
I learned to conform to whatever circumstance that would produce attention and recognition – it didn’t matter if it was positive or negative actions. I rebelled and became defiant and deficient in specific areas to temporarily receive the attention I craved. Extreme jealousy tormented me as I floated from one group to the next. I never fully understood my authentic self, so I longed for what others had. Beliefs that I was flawed in more ways than one buried any form of confidence or morale. Succumbing to my detached and displaced psyche, the form of escape this time was self-infliction. I starved myself from the distorted beliefs of my body. It was a comparison that stole my joy and innocence. First being judged by others, then judging myself.
As an empath, I gravitated to the ‘Natural Helper’ program in middle school and simultaneously found restoration in mediating various struggles and obstacles. I truly adored humanity. In all honesty, I was attracted to brokenness. I ran from perfection that was plaguing me in different areas of my life. I wanted to outwardly wear my brokenness so the labels would be removed, but also to find commonality among my peers. The recklessness and unpredictableness of this space provided excitement and curiosity. Here, I found humanity. I was able to see the beauty in our diverse fractures that made us who we were. A deep spiritual work began in my heart. I began to repel inauthentic people in my life. I needed to surround myself with diversity on all levels of realness and rawness.
I needed the freedom of mobility and not be locked into one thing or ideology. I began jumping from one high to another. The adventure was the edge that kept me afloat – no true logical plan, guided from the heart that resulted in spontaneous reactions and decisions. This would lead to impromptu risk-taking, as I would improvise areas of my life to allow such drastic change. The addiction of excitement and an ever-changing environment was the stability I needed – this later welcomed jobs, various relationships, and interactions that fostered the flexibility my personality desired.
In contrast, my constant state of running and wilding became an addictive high that caused everything to be short-lived…. I fell back on the belief that ‘nothing good lasts’ so I made sure to escape whatever circumstance I was in BEFORE it was able to hurt me. It was a form of control and protection in my life.
This was a bittersweet, vicious cycle that kept me forging ahead numb, without authentically extricating life’s lessons in the present moment. Childhood trauma or moments of being triggered would be silenced with the next big adventure. I learned to replace any pain and hurt with the high from the next adventure. Layers and layers of myself became buried as I chased the wind; I never fully grasped who I truly was nor stood strong in any specific identity.
Well, to no surprise, it all would catch up with me at some point in time. There would be moments in my life when I would break down and be in a bottomless pit of gloom and doom. A lot of times I couldn’t pinpoint the cause or catalyst to these blowups, I would just implode unaware of the emotions I was experiencing. Loved ones had a hard time trying to help me, as they wanted to understand why I was reacting, so upset, yet I had no answers. No reasoning to relieve their unsettledness, let alone my own! As I’ve learned now, a past incident I ran from, be it a broken marriage engagement, suddenly quitting a successful job, relocating our family of 5 to a new state… would show itself long after it actually happened. It didn’t matter the present state I was in, the buried emotions had to surface and be released – I didn’t have control over the timing of its release.
Understanding the cause and effect of my actions and emotions, being present in all moments became the forefront of my consciousness. This allows me to fully digest any response authentically before I move on to the next adventure with a clean slate. The emotion must come up and out, otherwise, it is stored in my body that will later manifest itself in some unhealthy manner… or cause an unexpected implosion later on!
This discovery and awakening started early in my 30’s as my spirituality grew stronger. It was a slow trickle at first with specific books, podcasts, or spiritual teachers showing up in my life. I don’t believe in coincidences one bit. Finally, the full veil was lifted after I joined a course to receive my Life Coaching certification.
It was here I became aware of all the “why’s” and began the healing process. All that I had run from, buried and pushed aside, was dissected, seen, and forgiven. All of the stories I told myself are just that, STORIES. The labels I placed on myself were just coping mechanisms to protect my ego. I hid beneath layers and layers of false identities.
Although I am in an amazing place today, I am challenged with family and friends not knowing the new me, my authentic self. They only know the old me and still treat and interact with me that way. Gracefully I’ve learned to just lead my life and let the chips fall where they may.
What I have released is control, the people pleaser conundrum, unworthiness, and the belief of nothing good lasts. There certainly are strongholds that have thinned but still present – all a work in progress.
Success still has a lingering antagonistic ring to it. If I can’t fulfill any desire to the best of my ability, top-notch, better than anything out there – I am paralyzed, stopped in my tracks, and won’t proceed. Ironically, I am the perfectionist I was running from my entire life. It’s the polarity of perfectionism – failure to any degree simply isn’t acceptable. This is a lesson only to be learned by taking one small step at a time.
Now 40 years old, and still stumbling and struggling here and there, my awakening five or so years ago is still the most liberating experience I’ll cherish forever. Knowing we have the power to create our own reality can uplift any circumstance. We are all broken in various ways, but therein lies the beauty, the perfection. We are all perfectly shattered in diversity, failing forward together.
Written by: Bree K.