I have a lot of terrible traits (hello stubborn, one-sided, forgetful, harsh) but being selfish has never been one of them. I have been praised, many times over, for my unwavering ability to put others needs before me. I always place the feelings of others above my own. I tend to focus on being 100 different things to 100 different people. Mom, wife, friend, sister in law, daughter in law, business woman, entrepreneur and volunteer.
As I get older though, I have to ask myself: is this actually a good thing?
You see, the problem is that when you put yourself last and become a different person for everyone around you, you start to lose yourself.
About two years ago, I lost myself completely.
I was so focused on living up to the expectations of me that I didn’t know who I was, and that was a terrible feeling.
Before I had my daughter, I was incredibly categorical about who I was. Kourtney – Business woman, Type A, organized and efficient, unemotional. Then I had her, and it’s as if you took 8 people and put them into a blender. As someone that was so sure of who she was, this devastated me. Instead of focusing on myself, I chose to just ignore this change that happened. I chose to shove myself back into my old mold. I went back to my old job, with my old friends, and my old life, hoping that If I closed my eyes long enough, the change wasn’t real.
But it didn’t work, because it doesn’t work that way. My perfectly categorized little life started to unravel. It began a breakdown, of sorts. I began to realize that I was so focused on what I was in relation to others, that I had no idea who I was as a stand-alone person. I felt alone and isolated – as if I had a lot and also nothing all at the same time.
I recently had dinner with a good friend and fellow mom. I mentioned that I was struggling with the realization that I had changed so much I didn’t even know who I was. She looked up at me, took a big swig of her wine and said, “Yeah, I think we all feel that way, Kourt.”
It was only then that I realized, I wasn’t alone. Other moms felt this way and right in my proverbial back yard.
I decided it was time to take myself back. This month I am going on dates with myself. Maybe I'll walk around a book store or take a walk on the beach. Maybe I'll see a movie or try a new restaurant. I am unpacking all the boxes. I am being selfish because I deserve to get to know myself again.
I hope you’ll join me.