So the other morning, I walked by the mirror and realized, I'm a 36-year old wife and mother of three little ones. I live in a white house with black shutters and a red door. I make oatmeal and wash dishes and read lots and lots of stories and change lots and lots of diapers. I drive kiddos to school, church, ballet, music, basketball, and their friends' houses. I admire art work, dance moves, kind words, and gooey brownie fingers. I shun hitting, eye-rolling, cruel words, and video games. And late at night, when I have disposable energy, I wonder, how did I get here?
Yesterday or 14 years ago, I was reading philosophy texts, drinking beer, chatting it up with girl friends, wondering if I would get married, hoping I would get a really good job offer and firmly believing that I would never move back to Omaha, Nebraska.
I used to make fun of the women that I babysat for...they wore sweater sets from Talbots, faded pleated pants, the same pearl earrings, and drove station wagons or mini vans. Most needed a highlight at best and some needed significant work like a lip wax or a personal trainer. Everyone of them were so thankful to see me pull up in the driveway and after a few brief reminders encouraged me to eat anything I wanted in the house...I think they just really wanted me to come back. They all seemed so old. I used to giggle with my girlfriends about who had cute husbands and who had fat ones. Which ones seemed really in love and which ones got the short-end of the stick. Either way, I couldn't imagine that one day, someone would call me, "Mrs. so and so" and tell me that the kids would be just fine while I pulled out of the driveway.
I think it's funny that I got my master's degree in Conflict Resolution. When I was actively practicing, I used to mediate other people's differences...i.e. Landlord/Tenant cases, Neighbor barking dog issues, Divorcing couples, Employer/Employee tensions...etc. Now, I just seem to mediate my own internal conflict...how do I evolve in this new season of my life and also retain that which I claim to be vital to my soul?
And because I've been writing in my head for the last fours year (ever since I became a full-time stay-at-home mom), I've decided to create this blog...primarily, as an outlet for me to reclaim my voice (outside of "use your inside voice") and also as an opportunity for me to connect with others who may relate. The truth is that the dynamic between like-minded individuals is what I missed the most about writing in my journal. And sometimes, the facebook fragments are just not enough. So, here I am.
I'm not sure how often I'll write. I'm not terribly concerned about being offensive or liked. I just want to hear my voice again as I hit the key strokes. I want to be reminded that I am here...all parts of me, not just those that care take for others.
I'm grateful for the hot mess that I find myself in most days because it reminds me that I am alive. I may be covered in puke, exhausted from an all-night marathon with a baby, or wearing a size that I reserved for a middle-aged woman...but I'm here. I'm doing it. And, honoring the journey...well, that's good for something.