It goes without saying that life sometimes takes us in a direction we didn’t plan for. When we are younglings it all looks like unknown territory, because it is, we plan, dream and expect, then things either fall into place or they don’t.
Sometimes it works for the best, sometimes it doesn’t, but even when it does work for the best we find ourselves having to adapt quickly, perhaps too quickly and part of us gets “lost” or forgotten.
If we are lucky this oubliette in which we place a fragment of ourselves is merely a temporary stage, and once life allows us we can reconnect with the one we once were.
This is where I am.
As a teen, I spent all my free time reading, dreaming and creating. My creative vein was focused on writing, drawing, painting, everything. If it existed and I could get ahold of it I was on it.
Then I got married. I know, same old story, right? “No time, kids need me” but not entirely. Yes, married life with children leaves you very little time, even as a person working from home or a stay at home fulltime mother, but it wasn’t just it. It was me. I somehow convinced myself that my old me, was not the me I had to be now in that new stage of life.
So, it was out with my paints and brushes, in with the sewing machine to dress my house and family, so long to the long ours of writing at night, hello to reading up on how to raise a healthy child and not screw up in the process. I could have kept a little bit of my old self but I didn’t.
Felt wrong to think of myself at the time because it detracted from thinking of my loved ones.
Then my oldest daughter asked a simple question and something clicked in my head.
“Dad says you painted too. Why did you stop?”
Because I thought I had to.
Not because of her or her sister, not because of house work, not because time is scarce.
I could have doodled and I didn’t, I could have written instead of watching tv late at night and I didn’t.
I don’t want that for my daughters, I want them to not lose themselves. I want them to be whole.
So here I am, trying to be whole again, finding what makes me happy so my kids can learn by example how to be whole and happy themselves.
It is not always easy, I know. Many times I am tired but sometimes, even if it’s just for a few minutes here and there, it is possible.
Treasure that part of yourself that sometimes gets forgotten, if you can. Treasure what you love as much as who you love because those are the bits and pieces that make you be you.