What (or rather, “Who”) is Me 2.0?

OK, so who here remembers life pre-Internet?

I know I do. I remember — even as recently as 1998, when I received my master’s degree — spending countless hours at the college library, feeding meters and avoiding the glances of desperately lonely frat boys, researching materials in the stacks (using the – gasp – Dewey Decimal System) for my thesis.

I remember planning trips the old fashioned way — writing letters to convention and visitors authorities requesting brochures and maybe seeking the help of a travel agent, but definitely not the assistance of Expedia or Travelocity (Expe-who? Travel-what?).

Hell, I remember writing my first few school reports on a manual typewriter. The kind where the letters stuck together if you typed too fast. The kind requiring copious amounts of white-out, and where you had to manually go to the midpoint of a page and backspace two times for every one letter to center a heading (thank you, Mrs. Creveling, for that indelible, high school computer typing lesson).

Obviously, life is dramatically different thanks to the web. But even the web has gone through its iterations, the most dramatic of which is called “Web 2.0.” This is the point at which the user of information had input (think YouTube), helped create content (an example of which is this blog), participated in social media (Facebook, anyone?) and otherwise actively participated in the process of gaining information and resources — instead of statically watching as the information was passively delivered.

Hey, interesting tidbit: “Web 2.0” just happens to be the one-millionth English word, according to the 2009 Global Language Monitor — which I just happened to find on Wikipedia, another example of Web 2.0. Don’t cha just love symmetry? 😉

Anyhow, back on topic: Why do I call this blog “Me 2.0”?

Just as the web has gone through a major transformation as it progressed from being a static repository of information to a dynamic tool that gave the user power, I, too have similarly transformed. Pre-divorce, I was in my 1.0 stage. I was certainly happy, and powerful, and fulfilled in what I had to offer to myself and the world.

But then, as the bricks came crashing down around me (literally and figuratively, for those of you who have read my first blog post), I discovered something totally new. This was a new iteration…of me.

It was certainly forced upon me and not the path I would have voluntarily chosen, but I sincerely couldn’t be more grateful that it happened. And I don’t mean grateful to those who inspired the events; instead, I’m grateful that I was able to find the strength — both internally and externally — to move forward and embrace what was to come.

You see, I have learned so much from this transformation. I have found that I can proactively take part in my life and make it what I want. I am dynamic, flexible, and have super-cool superpowers that I didn’t even know I had.

No longer am I focused on what I should do; instead, I am focused on what I want to do.

The first physical symbol of my transformation from 1.0 to 2.0 was a change of part — literally. I have no idea what inspired it, but as I peered into the mirror one afternoon, contemplating who I would be in my redefined, über-empowered state, I literally picked up my brush and swapped my part from the left side to the right, rebelling against said part’s previous home where it had lived since I was a tiny toddler of 4. No joke.

 

Mikalee 1.0 (complete with pre-jaded left part, curly hair & naïve smile)

 

(Clearly, changing up the hair is a big post-divorce tool, as many movies and popular media depictions have dramatic hair changes as the centerpiece of post-divorce healing — à la Meg Ryan in “The Women.” And appropriately, a change from constantly curly to sleek-and-straight also accompanied my change of part, just like happened for Marvelous Meg. And this was all before the movie came out, mind you. What can I say: I’m a trend-setter.)

But I digress. So with this change of “part” (which, again, being a symbol girl, I just loved loved LOVED), I discovered a new “role” for myself.

So who is Me 2.0? (and yes, fellow grammar geeks, this sentence makes me shudder at its flawed construction, too. I realize it should be “Who am I 2.0,” but that is not the name of my blog. So chill.)

Me 2.0 is a reminder about who I am now. It is a reminder that I have changed, that I have grown, that I have evolved — similar to how Web 2.0 was an evolution from its archaic 1.0 philosophies. It is a physical symbol that I am taking an active role in who I am and who I can be. It is me becoming a dynamic participant, not passively involved in the process.

I am not reinvented, as I was already someone well before this all came about. Me 2.0 is my redefinition. My next iteration. My next best self.

If you have gone through a dramatic transformation from your old self to your new — with or without flipped part or other extreme makeover, hair edition — you just may be in your 2.0 version as well.

And congratulations. Because embracing your v 2.0 is a bold, brave move. It takes guts, chutzpah, a stiff upper lip and a strong sense of self.

And now, Reader 2.0, it’s your turn: Leave a comment that details a difference you’ve made that reflects your next best self. Can’t wait to read all about it! 🙂

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “What (or rather, “Who”) is Me 2.0?

  1. Rachelle Pellissier says:

    At 43 after 23 years of living with my ex-husband, I decided I was done with the marriage. Imagine my surprise, after being separated for a month, when I found out I was pregnant! Well I decided that I would not get married just because I was pregnant, so I was still going to get that divorce. I had my 3rd son when I was 44 (he joined his 19- and 10-year old brothers), and became the proud single mother of 3. It is not always easy; I have been going to school full-time for the last 2 1/2 years on top of that full-time job, but I am so glad I have the life that I do now. 2.0 is a much better version; a little more tired and wrinkled, but I wouldn’t trade her in for the world!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Rachelle 2.0 — you are “bravery” defined! I can’t imagine being in your situation (and I’m SO grateful I never had to find out how that must have felt!). But you stayed strong and did what you knew in your heart you needed to do — congratulations.

      Just imagine the amazing life lesson you taught all three boys. They are lucky to have you in this amazingly strong 2.0 version! 🙂

  2. monicastangledweb says:

    I love your new do. The added color looks very sleek. Kudos to your redesigned, reformatted version 2.0. You give divorced women everywhere so much food for thought, that I’ve added a link on my blog to yours. After all, why should I have all the fun? lol!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Wow…my very first co-blogger link! Thank you so much — I’m honored! 🙂

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (and as many times as possible): We divorced women need to stick together! There is such a benefit to shared experience, and I’m digging the ability to share in the journey with so many brave souls.

  3. 7kimberlee says:

    Hey Mik, I am so proud of you. Although not divorced, I came within days of it. Four months of hell, and my 2.0 started then, and hasn’t stopped. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to get counselling, go to couple’s counselling and now we are better than ever. And yes…the hair definitely is the first place to start! It is really true, changing the hair is symbolic but fundamentally a way to make a statement to the world that “Me 2.0” is in charge. No one else. Its freeing, its liberating, and for me its way less expensive! Not to mention healthier for my naturally curly, brunette locks! Keep up the good work! KT

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you, Kimberlee! I’m so glad you’re reading and relating…

      So tell me — did the new ‘do really accompany your post-almost-divorce stage? That’s amazing … I really think there’s something almost subconscious there — that a dramatic physical change signals a dramatic emotional transformation. I know I for one didn’t consciously say, “I’m going to change my part and go straight (the hair, not sexual orientation, you readers with dirty minds…) in order to signal to the world that I’m a different, transformed person” … but that’s clearly what my subconscious was saying!

      Now I’m going to spend my time fixating on the hair of the people around me, looking for subtle and/or dramatic changes to cue my prying into their lives! Because clearly, I need something to do in my spare time! 😉

      Take care, and come back often, Kimberlee. I love your insights!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thanks so much — it is definitely my goal to provide inspiration for others to embrace their next best self.

      In the aftermath of a tragedy like a sudden, unexpected divorce, you certainly go through mourning for the loss of who you were. But the biggest lesson I learned is that while one person “died” (in a way), another was discovered. Then another. And yet another.

      (And that’s not to say that post-divorce, I began suffering from schizophrenia. Nah…just that I had thought I was one person, but then realized I didn’t have to confine myself to that role. I was liberated!)

      So I lost one, but gained a whole lot. Which makes me a winner, in my view!

      Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

  4. Lilly Pilly says:

    Thanks for your post. I got blonde highlights in my hair, which helped me reinvent! And boy, did I need to reinvent! Things came crashing down in two years, my two daughters got sick at the same time, I left my job to care for them, then I got sick with lyme disease. I am still regrouping, asking, “Who am I now?” Plus, I have a grandson who adds a new dimension to the life picture. My husband has been a rock through it all. There are some wonderful men out there….

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by … and wow, it does sound like you’ve been through it! Good luck as your next iteration takes shape … I think we’re all constantly working through things and redefining ourselves, most of the time in a subtle way. But in your situation … not so much!

      😦

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I’m glad you can see “whimsical” in my writing, as I’m always concerned it’s a bit too bitter and jaded…but I really am a fun person who embraces life. Really! 😉

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. Cat says:

    I don’t know if the 2.0 is official upon receipt of the “divorce” papers. Or certificate, as it were, in Ontario. I (embarrassedly) have been in the limbo category of “separated” for 8 years. We were together for 12, married for 9 and three-quarters. My then-husband decided that since we never had a honeymoon, we should go on a week-long vacation to Hawaii for celebrating our 10th Anniversary in February of 2002. He even planned it so we would be there during Valentine’s day. The day we were to return he told me on the flight back that he had a girlfriend and wanted to separate, and an 8-hour on-board in-flight discussion/argument/fight took place. Wow. How romantic! LOL! If I don’t finish court proceedings before August 8/2011, I will have been separated the same length I was married…..YUCK 😦
    That being said, ahem, I have grown alot. I am stronger than I thought I was, smarter and much more patient and also a lot sneakier and more vindictive than I even knew I was. After all, I AM half Irish, so a grudge is definitely a beautiful thing!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Ah, what a great Irish proverb that is!

      I can’t believe he told you on the flight. What was he thinking? Or, better yet, what were the passengers around you thinking? I can’t imagine. That would be such an interesting screenplay: Your story told from your perspective, from his perspective and the perspective of a passenger. I’d read it!

      And btw, your 2.0 version begins whenever you embrace your new identity — your next best self. And it’s clear you’re there!

      Congrats on it all! 🙂

  6. mobilemigo says:

    I embraced my 2.0 in 2005, after twelve years with a person. Even though we have completely different circumstances, I find your blog very comforting and in fact shed a tear or two while reading the first post. Even though I somehow knew I was the not the only one with a shit divorce I now KNOW that I’m not the only one with a shit divorce. Everytime I start to talk about it, I go back.. delete everything.. and pretend I never said a word. I think I feel like a whiny bitch when I talk about it, but I don’t get the whiny bitch vibe from you. At least not what I’ve read from you so far. Kudos.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Wow … your comment meant so much to me! Seriously … that’s what this is all about: to encourage others to find healing through sharing experiences. You summed it up perfectly.

      And my parting advice to you: Don’t delete. Talk about it. Feel it. Embrace it! We cannot learn from something that we stifle deep inside, and I think those around you who know you will not feel you’re being a whiny bitch. Or if they do, share with those of us who can totally, completely relate!

      Thank you for visiting! 🙂

  7. Evie says:

    My 2.0 reinvention was slow, but it happened. It took a year after my divorce for me to even start being human again, and healing wasn’t on the horizon. When I did- five years after the divorce- start to deal with it all, the first outward sign was the hair. It had been long enough to sit on for ages and I chopped it off at my shoulders. Step two was a good, honest-to-god fling with a man far too young for me to take seriously, but very healthy for my ego. And then came step three: I quit my job, cashed in my retirement account, and moved to Costa Rica to chase a dream. Eight years after my divorce I am not the woman I was. I am not a woman I ever imagined becoming. I am happier now than I ever dreamed of being able to be, more free than I knew was possible, stronger, wiser (hopefully), and far more aware. 2.0 is still being developed, but I know that when it’s finally finished it will be orders of magnitude better than the original version.

    Keep going; you’ll love who you become next!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I love love LOVE this! Congrats on it all — I’m more excited than ever after reading about your adventure. Seriously — I thought my 2.0 was happening now. Perhaps this is my 1.443 or so.

      Whatever it is, I’m poised for bigger and better, and I’m so happy to have the support and inspiration from comments like yours!

      🙂

  8. Sarah Een says:

    I remember you always having a left part! I love this blog for many reasons but mainly the references to “the old days”. It really grates on me when people don’t have antiques like cassette playing walkmans..No joke, I am a huge Howard Stern fan and I have about 60 tapes that my other Stern junkie friend taped off the radio. I gotta tan and I don’t like listening to music while I do so I went to Best Buy to get a walkman and the confused stares from the 20 year olds and barely concealed snickering (better watch that shit, I am your target demographic, punk) and the 32 year old acting like she didn’t know what I was talking about..”what’s this “tape” that you speak of?” bitch, please, you can front in front of the kids but I know you know..Anyhow, awesome as always and love the memories.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I love this: You have balls of steel, woman, going to Best Buy for a Walkman! I think you’d probably have better luck at a Thrift Store … or a garage sale … or an antique shop! 😉

  9. SameNewSame says:

    I’m pretty sure I’m v 1.5 right now. I dabbled a bit w/the 2.0, but I didn’t fully embrace the powers within. Sooo…I recently left facebook (for reasons that deal w/why I’m not 2.0 yet). I’ve begun blogging in an effort to help myself release some things and read about new things. Thank you for your blog!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you for reading — and congrats on embracing your 1.5, 2.0 or whatever version you happen to be aspiring to achieve. And much like the stages of grief, I’m convinced we’re constantly in flux between many versions, so no worries there!

      Best of luck in your blogging and evolution endeavors!

  10. Tara says:

    Oh, Mikalee…how I wish I had found your blog back when I was newly divorced! While I fully embraced my new found singleness, there were moments of doubt, fear, anger, and loneliness. My divorce was a 20lb piece of cake compared to what you’ve been through. (Or rather, alluded to in the entries so far. I can’t bring myself to follow the links to jump ahead…I’m enjoying your writing way too much, and what better way to avoid painting my living room.)

    I knew there was a better person in me that had been oppressed by fourteen years of marriage to a man that was a verbally abusive, ignorant, anti-social redneck. I have very much enjoyed the 2.0 version of me (sans all the partying and dating right after my divorce…had to get that out of my system, of course!), and from what I’ve been told, everyone else does too.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Well, Tara, I’m happy to serve as a distraction from the living room painting — though it’s not going to get done by itself! So get to work. 😉

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the blog; I think SO MANY of us have our own divorce horror stories, and it does help to share. And by the way, I went through my own period of partying and dating post divorce, and it (or rather, I) was a crazy hot mess. So glad to be on the other side of that as well…

      Congrats to you — and keep on keepin’ on!

If you do not leave a comment, you will further shatter my already broken spirit. If you can live with that guilt, so be it... ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s