I have never liked my name. Kim. It’s so guttural…monosyllabic…boring. Sure, my actual name is Kimberly but nobody has ever called me that with the exception of the Boston branch of my paternal clan. When somebody asks me my name and I reply, “Kim,” I hate the sound of it and it has never felt like me.
Lately I have not liked myself very much either. Identity crisis, midlife crisis, spiritual transformational crisis, whatever kinda crisis I am having has put me at great odds with myself. And as I have struggled and struggled like a caterpillar trying to beat its way out of its cocoon to fly in new beauty…I have felt that Kim is a fraud. She is not really me. Not the way I want to be.
This morning I woke up with a wonderful thought. Instead of trying to “fix” Kim, I just won’t be Kim anymore! I will be Tabitha. Tabitha is my joyful, confident, outgoing, fun-loving alter-ego. Maybe I will start introducing myself as “Tabitha” when somebody asks my name. Maybe when I start saying terrible things to myself, I will remember that I am not Kim anymore and SHE is the one who does that sort of thing. I am now Tabitha and she is a positive thinker! Only positive self-talk runs through Tabitha’s head. Perhaps I will create an Alter Ego Day on Facebook and ask everybody to change their Facebook name to that of their Alter Ego.
Slight problem. I have a 3 year old who knows my name is Kim. “You name is Kim, Momma,” she occasionally likes to remind me. Since she is nearly always attached to my side, I am fairly certain that she would correct me at once if I attempted to introduce myself as Tabitha, or anything other than Kim for that matter. Would this cause the person to whom I am introducing myself to wonder if I were:
b. somebody who has kidnapped my child in a custody battle and assumed a new identity
c. in a witness protection program
Maybe this requires more thought. But in the meantime, I will be Tabitha in my head.
Today I spent the whole day as Tabitha. I wore khakis. Kim never wears khakis because she thinks they emphasize her large thighs. Tabitha went to the doctor today. Kim went to the doctor last week and cried in the lobby and left before they called her back. Tabitha drove by a Presbyterian church on the way home. Kim has been looking at it, into it, about it for some time. Kim even pulled into the parking lot the other day but wouldn’t go in. Tabitha swerved through the traffic light and pulled into the church parking lot and WENT IN.
She talked to a nice lady who was working in the office. The lady had a severe expression and was not overtly friendly. This would have made Kim feel that she had done something WRONG or offensive to the church lady. But Tabitha just said, “That is a beautiful pink dress you are wearing…it is very Springy on such a cold Winter day!” And the church lady beamed and became talkative and ingratiating and showed Tabitha all around the church and introduced her to the pastor. The pastor asked, “Well what brings you here? What are you looking for in a church home?” and, under the waiting gaze of everyone in the office, Tabitha replied, “Do you have a moment to talk?” Kim was not even in the building after that! Tabitha was blessed with a long conversation with somebody who understood what Kim was going through and encouraged her and told her many things she needed to hear even though Tabitha already knew them.
The rest of the day fell into place in just the most easy way. Kim would have become overwhelmed and depressed and fallen asleep on the couch. But Tabitha made Shiloh take a nap, spiffied up the house, threw some laundry in, started some chili in old crocky and then made herself a coffee and put her feet up! Then, when Shiloh woke up cranky and crying and didn’t waaaaant to go to the art stuuuuudio, Tabitha didn’t get discouraged or upset. She got Shiloh ready and in the car in no time. Before she knew it, she arrived at Imagine and went inside. She was friendly, she joined in conversations, she believed she had something to contribute and she DID. She made 2 new friends. Tabitha did. In one day. Then she went home to find that she had been invited to a “Hip Mama Playdate” by another Mama that she really admires and respects. Kim was sure this was a mistake…maybe it was supposed to say “Big Hips Mama Playdate”? But Tabitha just shoved her aside and RSVP’d YES and went on as though it were nothing out of the ordinary!
The rest of the evening as Tabitha went much the same. She relaxed. She breathed. She did. She was. She flowed through life and life flowed through her. And everyone around her felt the benefit of it.
Shiloh is standing in front of Tabitha now, blowing bubbles from a princess bottle. She is also wearing a bright pink, glittery, sequined Minnie Mouse dress with red Olivia slippers and pink shoes over the tops of those. And she says, “Today was a good day,” with a Cheshire cat smile on her face.
Tabitha in my head smiles, too.
Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog.
Oh and I should say, when you read this post, if you read this post, read it in the voice of Jo Carol Pierce because that’s how I thought it. As a side note, if you have never listened to Bad Girls Upset By the Truth, (in its entirety, alone so you can really pay attention and think about it), you should.
By the way, Kim is trying to keep Tabitha from pushing the Publish button. But Tabitha won’t let her.