Wednesday, September 1, 2010


For my birthday, I did something completely self indulgent. I went to the movies alone. I saw Eat Pray Love, and used the Entertainment Book coupon that gave you a free movie ticket on your birthday. It was something foreign to me, not unlike going to school or a gym, but a movie theater-alone? Why not, take that bucket list. My interest had been piqued after reading my friend's journal entry about seeing it, and a letter she shared. It deeply moved me, striking how just the week before I posted about being who I am, and how I had transformed and how relationships ebb and flow. So I went to movies and found myself unsettled. The plot line was easy enough to follow, but the idea of going against the grain, the idea of choosing a foreign path because of what appeared to be unhappiness struck me as harder to absorb that I'm used to. While I'm all for following one's path and taking life as a journey, seeing how this woman was so deeply hurt and how she worked through her own misery, in a way that seemed very radical and foreign, unsettled me. It made me think-where was I in my life? Where was I from a year ago? Where did I see myself 10 years ago when I was living at home, going to college, thinking about marriage to my highschool/college sweetheart.

I changed it all on a whim two years later, not to the degree that this woman had, but in my own way I had changed everything I knew. Upon graduating college and having been kicked out from my parents for seemingly not following the path chosen or desired by my mom and dad, otherwise having been a good kid, good grades, no trouble, survived all the norms of childhood and adolescence. Something snapped-where the point of origin is I'm not sure of, and quite frankly I've peeled enough layers back to see while yes its painful, yes I want to know why, there's something about moving forward, learning from it, hearing stories now from my dad, seeing how I relate now to adults and my own children, I know enough that what I wanted and needed at that point needed to change-so I did. Its taken time to absorb all the changes, be at peace with all the changes. Living with decisions and choices that came up as a result of those decisions, all took time. Time marched on, and then it hit me, life is still a journey.

I turned 31 this past week. I never had the typical girlish hopes of being a stay at home mom, living in the house with the picket fence, having the two kids, a dog, and a minivan. I had dreams-seeing the world as a journalist, writing about anything and everything, combining a love for helping others with writing. I figured my husband would take turns with me staying at home with the kids, working at home with his job, and we'd follow our dreams. Ten years later, the dream of being a writer has given way to being a social advocate, having a voice in the community I live, making it a better place for my soon to be four children while combining the efforts of staying at home and still pursuing my own interests. I have to say within the past year, getting reacquainted with a dear friend who is traveling the world with his wife sans children, has made me realize how I'm more than just a mommy and a wife. Yes, those roles are important and dear to me, but so is having my own interests. Combine that with my birthday, and seeing Eat Pray Love earlier this week and that's a recipe for self evaluation.

Where I stand today: 31 years old. Open minded. Forgiving. Generous. Lover of all things frugal. Coupon Queen. Loves hearing a need and fulfilling requests. More likely to say how can we make something better, and not just quit. Knowing when to back down, but not leave friends stranded. Providing shoulders to lean on, and hot meals to feed bellies. Open to new ideas, and letting others go ahead. Making sure all is right with my 3 amazing boys and husband, while still taking care of myself. Step up to the challenge kind of person, willing to try something new. Lover of photography, the written word, and dance. Loves sharing those interests with my children and seeing how their minds work and the questions that follow. Love stamping and scrap booking and everything crafty. Grateful to have a partner who understands his wife loves to do all the above and gently reminds (or by inking in pen) the dates his wife's hobbies meet because he won't take no for an answer because he knows we all benefit from my self care. Yes life turned out different than I expected. I did not expect to become further estranged from my mom, rebuild a relationship with my dad, see how debt can become out of hand, and see how pay cuts can change perspective on reality. I see how marriages change-and how parenthood changes everything all over again. Someone once told me that my 30s would rock, and despite all the crazy, emotional, heart wrenching moments I have faced-they have. I wouldn't change a thing.

No comments: