I used to be _____ but now I am _____
I used to be creative, now I am (what's the opposite of creative, see I can't even creatively think of a word) boring.
As a child, even a young adult, I loved to make things: poems, short stories, songs, drawings, art projects, paper mache turtles and mosaic coasters, Christmas ornaments, cross-stitched place mats. If I didn't make it from scratch, I could still fancy it up. Now I just...can't. I tried to get into the sewing things last year and while it was fun to dream up projects, buy fabric on-line, and even whip up a few easy pieces, the steep learning curve I would have to scale to really excel (or even progress beyond the paperbag-waisted skirt and velcro closure lunchbag) completely turned me off. I've become so relentlessly efficient about everything. The thought of expending time and energy when I could simply buy it with one click, the thought of decorating and embellishing when it works fine as is just doesn't jive with my get-it-done mindset.
I used to be open, now I am closed-off. There was little going on in my head that I didn't share with my close friends or significant others. My primary coping mechanism was to discuss things with someone. It helped immensely. Now I keep it all in and I am certain that at least part of my increasing anxiety is due to this tendency. But the more you wall yourself off, the harder it is to open back up. I'm not really sure how to go about it.
I used to be funny, now I am serious. I was so good at laughing about the absurdities in the world, and particularly in myself. A huge part of my relationship with G was based on our mutual sense of humor. Not infrequently, he has been incredulous at how I took something seriously that was quite clearly a joke. I laugh at and with my kids, but I've noticed that I can sometimes go days without a real deep belly laugh this days.
I used to take pride in my work, now I am a half-asser. (Not WORK-work, but things I do. I don't half-ass my career-related stuff, obviously!) I was never a perfectionist (have you noticed how people like to blather on about their problems with perfectionism? Humble-brag much?) but I did often go the extra mile so that any projects or school-work that saw the light of day looked presentable or better. I had impeccable handwriting. I used to wrap presents nicely and add a bow. Now my presents look like my dog slapped see-through tissue paper and too much Scotch tape on them. I do things quickly, rather than methodically, with more thought to crossing it off the list than creating a polished product.
I had a few more in my head when I planned this post, but I can't remember them now. I realize that I lot of these changes are simply due to changes in age and circumstance. Its developmentally appropriate to be attached to your friends as a teen and I imagine you grow out of it as an adult. And when time is scarce, throwing that gift for a 3-year-old in a re-used bag instead of hunting up the wrapping paper and curling some ribbon certainly makes sense. But I miss some of those aspects of the old me---the spontaneous, creative, open and funny old me. I wonder where she went?