Runaway Me.

One of my all time favorite romantic comedies is Runaway Bride, featuring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. In this movie, Julia, playing Maggie Carpenter, is forever a fiance, never a bride. She consistently makes it to the altar and at the last second, bolts! Gere is a reporter who covers her fourth dash from “I do.” This movie walks Maggie through the realization that her relationships have been built around carefully adjusting her identity to match the man she is in a relationship with. Her true self never shows up. It is all wrapped up in the reality that she does not know how she likes her eggs — scrambled, poached or fried? Her preference aligns with whatever her current significant other likes — she has no ownership of self. She is wearing a mask to make it work until she reaches the altar and realizes it is not long-term sustainable. Over and over, she bolts.

One day it dawned on me — I used to be a runaway me.

Right now, I have a strong sense of self ownership but historically, I was a runaway me. I showed up in relationships with family, friends and colleagues in a way that morphed and adapted to what they wanted me to be. Like our preference for eggs — it seems small and insignificant. But the significance is in our denial of our true selves. 

For a consistent period of time I’m afraid I was most comfortable as a Runaway Me. I look back on those seasons and know that I wanted to fit it, make sense and go with the friend-flow. If they liked sushi, I’d find a way to like it. If they shopped at a particular store, I’d go visit it too. If they had an opinion I had a tendency to match mine to theirs. Much like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride, I didn’t know I was doing it. I had no idea I was a Runaway Me.

In Runaway Bride, Roberts’ path back to herself and ultimately to a successful trip down the altar, begins with honesty regarding who she is and clarity surrounding how she likes her eggs cooked.

In many ways, my career change from Law Enforcement to Marketing prompted my journey back to myself. We were also welcoming our first child into the world — it was a lot of major change all at once. It was a season of life marked with fear and anxiety about what the future held for me but also provided an opportunity to reflect and reach down deep to determine what makes me tick. Since so much was changing, I had to figure out what was true about me that would transcend circumstances, careers and seasons.

Here is what I learned…

While this is not an exhaustive list of what makes me, “me” it surely hits the high points. This is me at the most concrete, steadfast level. I love knowing who I am and what I bring to relationships and opportunities. I love feeling sure about where I am my best self and where I bring value. Having this clarity around the real me ensures that no matter what life circumstances I may find myself in, I know what it will take for me to show up in the most genuine and soul-satisfying way possible. 

Runaway you?

Can we make a deal — no more “Runaway Me” syndrome? Figure out how you like your eggs cooked. Stop fleeing and determine who you are at the truest, purest level. Spend time in quiet reflection and seek margin so that you can properly consider what has been consistently true about you, over your lifetime. Think of some serious and some silly questions that will provide clarity. Here’s a short list to get you started:

If you take time to answer these questions I’d love to know what you learn along the way! Comment below, or connect with me on Twitter or Instagram.

Start your way back to yourself. No more running.

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