Thursday, October 20, 2016

Searching For Identity

Image Copyright Sebastien Millon 2016.

Reviewing my posts for the last 9 months, it can be tough to tell if I am writing about bariatric surgery or existentialism. So many of my posts seem to be tied up in searching for an identity. I have fretted over cutting my ties with my "tribe" of fellow overweight people. I have struggled to develop new habits. I have even had trouble no longer seeing an obese person when I look in the mirror.

Hey, at least I didn't say "fat person." So I am learning.

But the truth is, I am still struggling with the great "who am I?" question. An excellent example is my changing physical appearance. Lor, as she continues to lose, is looking more and more like her mother did in her twenties. She revels in this - not only has she always found her mother beautiful, but the connection with a 20-something version of her mom is appealing to Lor's self-image by making her feel younger again. Feeling younger, she acts younger - we have never been as active as we are right now in 28+ years together. She has gained youth, beauty and a tighter emotional bond with her mother - 3 wins for the price of one.

I am having a different experience. My entire adult life I have resembled my mother's side of the family. Specifically, I have always looked like my grandfather, who in his 80s is still an active, handsome gent. I have always maintained that if I could develop into looking like him as I grew older, I would be content with my aging process.

However, the changes to my face (and hair...sigh) have wrought in me a problem - I no longer really resemble him. I no longer resemble anyone on my Mom's side. And I really don't look like anyone on my father's side. Once again, my weight loss has pulled me out of my comfort zone - I no longer see my family when I look at myself. I have no idea where I really "belong" anymore.

I suppose I should look at it as another opportunity to "reinvent" myself. But, darn it, I was not looking to create a new me by removing my mental association with my family. I used to be able to sit around at family gatherings and see myself reflected in the faces around me. Now, I am afraid, I am going to feel like I went out and had surgery to set myself apart from those that I wish to be like the most.

Warning - your life changes may have unintended consequences.

Thinking I Think Too Much,

- Hawkwind

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