For the past week that question has been carving trails as it paces around my brain.
My life hasn’t exactly led me to a place that I’m happy about. Though, I’m not unhappy (overall). I am incredibly blessed by 3 wonderful, pure-hearted, joyous children, a partner who is in many ways my soul mate, and an amazingly supportive extended family. Blessed. They are wonderfully human and imperfect and drive me crazy at times, but I truly feel grateful for a life interwoven with them.
However, when I pull back the lens, when I look at my life in a terrarium, there is so much missing. And yet I hear myself saying… well, you should be thankful for what you have. And (because I’m a little crazy) I hear myself responding… remember when people told you to ‘just be thankful’ after the Eldest was born but really you felt like total crap because you got railroaded into a c-section that probably wasn’t really necessary to begin with and it took you a long time to figure out that it was okay to feel both – grateful for what you had and sorrow for what you lost. Yeah, like that.
I love my children and they love me (at least when I’m telling them what they want to hear and/or feeding them). Yet am I being the person I want to be, the person I am meant to be? And if I am not being my authentic self, am I the mother I want them to have? Heavy.
But the answer to both questions is a resounding no. And the short answer to “why not?” is that I give up, I give in, too easily. I did it with my last partner of 10 years. I told myself I wouldn’t do it this time (convinced myself I wouldn’t need to). But I was wrong. When the going gets tough, I concede. I’m a people pleaser, a care-taker. But who is taking care of me? Thankfully, I caught myself early on in our relationship, closing in on the third year. It didn’t happen all at once, but unlike the Skin Horse, I do mind being hurt (or better yet, allowing myself to be hurt). Part of me can’t believe I’ve gotten myself here again and the other part of me is like “enough of that wallowing in self pity crap, pull yourself up on out of this hole mama!”
Looking back (how did I get here) and looking forward (where to I want to be/how do I get there) seems to be the best way to tackle this. The question is, am I strong enough to do what is hard, to buck the currents, to stand up for myself and what is deeply, profoundly important to me? Oh dear, I hope so.
If only my sole purpose in life were to nuzzle his sweet, soft baby noggin all day long…