When I seperated from my ex-husband I thought I was almost at the end of "finding myself" and changing.
I felt like that freedom from the marriage and being able to spread my wings meant that I was then able to be Lauren.
I liked who I was becoming. I felt confident being her.
A year and a half later I've realised that actually, I was only at the very beginning and that the journey to finding yourself and becoming yourself isn't as easy as you may first believe.
In fact it was a conversation today with my ex-husband that actually made me realise that I'm not yet done with my transformation.
As he said "It's not good but I think you're allowed some crazy stupid moments while you get your life back on track" I was slightly offended at first.
How dare he not think my life is back on track or that I am stable! Buy given the topic of our conversation I sat for a minute and realised he was right. And actually, my life isn't back on track yet.
Last year was hectic and was a blur. And only this year as the divorce hit me and has it become real.
I think back on how my life was last year. Who I was and how I was. It has helped me in who I am becoming.
However, I often think I am taking a back step and the confident woman I was last year is being replaced by someone who is questioning who she is.
I wrote a list of how I have changed in the last year and a half and I looked at that list.
All of it to do with looks, and as I wondered whether or not it was right or wrong of me to change any of these things I focused on the fact that right now they make me feel like me. And as much as other people might not like some of my decisions, I am confident in them.
And if changing my appearance makes me feel more confident, makes me feel more me, then that is how I will continue.
Being single, being divorced, with two children, confidence is hard to come by a lot of the time.
I feel judged, constantly. I feel like I am competing with everyone.
I know I am not special. I know I am not the one who stands out. I know I am not the one anyone wants to make special memories with, or to spend any amount of time with.
So the tattoos, the lip fillers, the nails, another ear piercing, debates over a darker hairstyle, all help to build up who I want to be.
Someone different to who I was before.
Building up to someone who maybe one day, someone will look at and love.
Who someone will one day look at and appreciate.
Who someone will one day look at and think is special.
Different from the rest. And worth taking a chance on. Worth getting to know.
Worth helping to complete.
Because I can only build and create so much of me.
Whoever I am becoming. Whoever she may be. I just want her to feel loved and respected.
To be understood.
To be enough.
To be everything to someone.