Things I know
I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a military spouse. I am a student. I am a friend. I am a homemaker. I am good at some of these things and terrible at others. Up until recently, I was working to fit the mold that I thought was normal. I had a very good friend who passed away when we were 15. She was known for being an individual and living according to her own rules. When she passed, everyone talked about how “she marched to the beat of her own drum.” When I met her she had pink hair and she was wearing these pants–they were bright blue and had a deck of cards printed on them. She was quiet and stayed to herself. I knew we were meant to be friends. We became, not just friends, but sisters. Her death was a defining moment in my life.
It has been almost 15 years since she died (yes, I just revealed my age). I have become a mother of 3 beautiful children. In that 15 years I have made many friends–one of which has been there for 14 of those years (you know who you are). I have taken the world on head first and life has proven that I will have to fight for anything I want. The question I have not been able to answer is: what do I want?
What I Have Learned About Myself
1. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up
This is an unsettling thought, especially with three kids relying on you for guidance through their own life. When I was a kid I had BIG dreams. Life cut those down really fast. I never saw myself still struggling through college at 30 years-old. I am majoring in Business Marketing and still have no idea what direction I will go once I graduate. The world is so big with so many possibilities and I want to make the biggest impact possible. I still have time. Blogging is proving to be enjoyable and writing has always been a passion for me.
2. How to be honest with myself
I am a military spouse. We move a lot. I start a job and make new friends in each new place we live. Then, I have to quit that job and leave those friends. I have learned to recognize that this sucks and that is okay. Being a military spouse is hard and there is a lot of pressure for us to just embrace that and smile about all of it. Well, this last move proved that I have a weak spot. I tried to just be okay with it all but there came a point when I had to be honest with myself and let it hurt for a while.
Starting this blog is one step I took to be honest with myself. Being a parent is rough and I don’t do it with all the grace in the world (that is me being brutally honest). My dad used to tell me that no matter how good I think I am at something; there is always someone out there that is better than me. How true is that? There are a lot of moms out there that have given me stink eye while my kid threw a fit in the middle of the store. If I am being honest with myself–I was doing my best and I do my best everyday. I learn from my mistakes and that is all my kids need.
3. Compromise is not the easiest thing I have attempted
I am a wife, mother, student, and homemaker. All of these things mesh into one insane individual. Some days I wonder how I make it through the day. The answer to this is COMPROMISE. I compromise with myself, my husband, and my kids. I pick my battles and bottle up my own feelings about it until I have the occasional meltdown. I don’t like to compromise but it is a necessary evil until you lose your own identity. That is where I found myself recently. I was compromising so much to make others happy that I didn’t recognize myself. Being honest with myself was now necessity. I was not doing any good for my husband or my kids by wandering this world as a shadow. If I am going to be happy then I need to allow myself to shine.
4. It is okay to have dreams that don’t match reality
I love my life. I love my family and I have always put them first. I was identified as my kids’ mom. I was identified by my husband and live according to his career. What I didn’t know before is that I didn’t have to let that be the only thing that identifies me. Not everyone will agree but I am just not that old fashioned type. To those who are–more power to you and if you are happy then I am happy for you. I woke up one day and realized that I was able to direct any conversation back to my kids and husband. Even when people would ask me what I enjoyed doing or what my hobbies were. It was a talent, really. I could turn the conversation back to what my husband liked to do, I could tell everyone how great my oldest was doing in school, and how well the family is doing. The day I realized that I had dreams, and things that I am good at too, and that those things were worth being explored was the day I started getting a more recognizable self back.
I am so happy to have a sense of self back within grasp. I don’t have everything figured out but I finally feel like I am on the right path. This “new” me is refreshing and I am so excited for all the new things I will learn about myself. I have new adventures and the sky is the limit. I now realize that I am setting the bar for my kids. The way I live my life is going to be the blueprint for how my kids live their lives. I want them to be happy in their futures. If I live unhappy then that is what their futures could hold for them. I am breaking the mold.
Tell me what you think. What kind of “self discovery” lessons have you learned in life?