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! 🙂