Sunday, April 17, 2011

I used to be much more... Muchier

I was never a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland. It creeped me out, to be honest. But, after having re-watched Disney's newest version of the movie, I feel like I understand where Alice is coming from. Yesterday I quoted the movie on Facebook, not expecting anyone to understand completely what I meant. A friend of mine, who I haven't seen in a while, but who is still important to me, knew what I was talking about almost instantly and posted a website for me to read. 

I feel that I have lost my "muchness." In the movie, the Mad Hatter says to Alice, "You used to be much more...muchier. You've lost your muchness." And I feel the same way about myself. It's this darned quarter-life crisis I'm going through, which I've been told is ridiculous, but, nonetheless, it's how I feel. This is why I relate to Hannah Montana when she sings about having to choose between who she is and who others want her to be, about where she's going in life, about moving on from everything she loves to find her own way in the world. But this post isn't about Hannah Montana, I could write a term paper on her lyrics. This is about me in search of my muchness. This is about me learning how to be who I am now, without forsaking who I was before. 

According to the website that my good friend Laura sent me, there are six steps to "Reclaiming your muchness." Today, I'm starting with step one. You must start by remembering what you liked to do when you were younger. 

I played make believe - my favorite games were pretending to be horses with my friends, and playing paper dolls, Littlest Pet Shop, and American Girls Dolls, with friends or by myself; if I were in a sandbox, I would pretend that I was at the beach; if I were in a clump of trees, I might be lost in the wilderness. Even though I was shy, I was competitive - I always wanted to be the fastest, the smartest, the best at sports, the fastest reader, you name it. I ran barefoot around the neighborhood with my friends - I never wore shoes in the summer unless they were mandatory. I babysat - I loved to play with kids and to feel like the caretaker, and I got calls from every mom in the neighborhood. I loved to sing - my brothers used to complain because I was always singing so loudly that it echoed through the house, and my mother had to ban singing from the table. I took long walks - I walked my dog almost every day, even if my best friend and her dog couldn't go with us. I went to church every Sunday - after several years of being forced to go, I fell in love with my church and the people there; I learned so much about my faith, myself, and about others, and about what was important to me. I loved to read - sometimes I would be reading as many as three books at a time! I got lost in my favorite movies - I would pretend to meet the characters from the movie Newsies and we would fall madly in love with each other (one newsboy at a time). I loved romance - starting from a very young age I would have my friends act out pretend weddings, scenes from my favorite movies, and surprise my unsuspecting "husbands" with pregnancies when we played house (I always believed that I would one day be able to surprise my real husband like that). Even just a few years ago, I went through a phase where I was the life of the party - the younger kids wanted to be like me, the boys wanted to be with me, and everyone else enjoyed my company (I don't mean to sound egotistical, but I used to be pretty cool - it was a time in my life that started when I was a kid, skipped a whole mess of years during middle school and high school, and came back for a little while during college).  I knew who I was, and I enjoyed being that girl.  

There are so many things that I did when I was younger that I still enjoy today. All of the ones I've listed go into that category.  I play make believe all the time, to the frustration of some of my friends. But it's different now. When I was a child, I believed that those things could actually come true. And now, even though I may believe more than six impossible things before breakfast, do I really believe them? Or do I just wish them? I know, I know. I just wrote a whole post about what impossible things I believe, but truthfully, I only half believe them. And most of the other things I've listed have fallen by the wayside, even though they are activities that I still enjoy. The article I'm reading about reclaiming my muchness says that we can learn a lot about who we are by looking at what we used to enjoy doing. And I still enjoy those things. Okay, so I haven't sprung any pregnancies on any pretend husbands in several years now, but the romantic side of me is definitely still there. I'm afraid that much of my muchness is being clouded out by my disbelief in the world, by my sadness at what my life has become, or not become, by my worry that things will never turn out the way I want them to. I want to believe in the impossible, and I will tell you that I do, but in the back of my mind I'm just not sure. 

From reading what I used to enjoy, I see that I was a believer, a striver, a caretaker, a romantic, a dreamer, a reader, creative, outdoorsy, good company, a child at heart, someone who was not lonely when I was alone, and satisfied with who I was. I just hope that I can find that girl. No. I am determined to find her.

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