The Prevention of Reinvention

WELCOME TO THE NEW YOU!  How many times in your life have you seen a headline that expressed a similar sentiment? I have. Many times. Way too many times.  There’s always pressure to change for the better, to become someone else, to discard your old, sad self. Whether it’s about losing weight or something more serious such as learning how to set boundaries with toxic people around you—our society thrives on emphasizing reinvention.

But is it really reinvention? Especially for someone who is fragmented and not entirely him— or herself?  I believe it’s dangerous to insist on such reinventions—discarding all that you know, rebooting your system in the way that will completely change you. Sure, it’s good to get rid of bad habits, addiction, toxic relationships—but let’s be gentle with ourselves. Ignore those headlines for now; don’t give into the pressure.

You don’t need an identity crisis in the middle of still finding yourself. I certainly went through a lot of identity crises, and I am still a work in progress. Today, I have a better idea as to who I am, but that doesn’t mean that the work is done. But I am not “reinventing myself” – I don’t need to become a New Me, necessarily—if anything.  I just need to add to the Me that I started with. That was a murky, unsure territory of a relinquishee who was also addicted to alcohol and couldn’t deal with reality. What I had done during my recovery from and during my quest for biological family was add to the Me that I didn’t entirely know. At the core, I was always David—through my journey, I simply discovered more and more about myself. Well, it wasn’t exactly “simply”—it took a lot of work but it was worth it.

Had someone told me I needed to get rid of that David I started with, I don’t think I would be able to recover and thrive. Reinvention is not evolution. Reinvention is a catchphrase that looks good on the covers of magazines and that might delude some into believing that there’s something wrong with themselves. There isn’t. There is room for improvement and there’s room for discovery. But there’s nothing wrong with you as long as you don’t give up on yourself. Get to know yourself. Invent yourself—invent yourself as… yourself! I did.

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