I'm sure that nobody who knows me would disagree with that. But what I really mean is that I'm different now, compared to how I used to be.
A couple of weeks ago I met a girlfriend for a drink. I hadn't seen her in a while but after only 5 minutes of visiting with her she said, "You seem so different now. In a good way. You're so positive." And then she teared up and gave me a kiss and a hug.
I mentioned this conversation to my mother the next time I saw her and she said, "You are different. Ruby has softened you."
My dad has been saying it since my pregnancy days - how much "nicer" I am to be around.
And last night my in-laws were over for a visit and my FIL said, "You are a totally different person now. In a good way. A really good way."
So then... was I that terrible before?
Perhaps I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. But being raised by one parent who is an alcoholic/drug addict/workaholic and another parent who is very busy trying to hide all of that and make us look "normal" by being controlling, will do that to a person.
And then so will infertility.
And nobody (not the friends nor the family that were around me) seemed interested in helping me overcome either of those obstacles. In fact, sometimes it felt quite the opposite.
I fought through it all on my own, and it wasn't easy. I felt like I was up against the world... all. the. time. And I felt really alone a lot of the time. I always felt like an oddball. And I never felt comfortable enough, safe enough or confident enough to be myself. My true self.
So there was the chip. And there was a lot of pain inside. And I took whatever means were necessary to try to numb the pain. Read into that whatever you like. If you can imagine it, I probably did it. (Go right ahead, imagine big.) And I didn't put up with any shit from anyone. Even shit that I should have let slide, I didn't. I couldn't. Because I constantly felt like I had to prove myself. Stick up for myself, because nobody else would, right? Right.
It's not great living your life, feeling like you're always on the defence.
Apparently that made me kind of walking-on-eggshelly to be around.
Then Ruby was born and everything changed for me. The second she was put on my chest, I felt different. In ways I could never have imagined. I had no idea she would impact my life in this way.
Now, I really don't give a shit about everyone else anymore. Some things just don't matter anymore. Some things just aren't all that important anymore. And perhaps most significantly, I no longer feel that strong need to prove myself to everyone, or anyone.
And this has given me an insane amount of confidence that I have never felt before in my life. I have never felt more sure of myself. I've never felt so much peace and calm inside of me.
I had no idea until recently, that these feelings translated so loudly to the people around me.
Now, don't misunderstand. I still swear like a sailor. And I still would not hesitate to tell you off if you crossed me. I still have an edge and it's still sharp. I did not have a lobotomy during my hospital stay back in December. I'm still me.
It's just easier to be me now.
So yes, maybe she's softened me. Yes, maybe I'm more positive now. Maybe I'm nicer to be around. Maybe I've changed - in a good way.
I have Ruby to thank for that. She healed my heart.