There was a strong young woman with feminist ideals and a loving heart. She believed in her fortitude and desire to do something grand with her life - something more than most of the people she saw around her. However, life has a funny way of humbling you, grounding you, and undeniably changing your perspective through the ones you love. For a very long time, in fact, I didn’t know that I wanted to be a mother. Somewhere in me, I knew that becoming a mom would mean growing my heart and losing my current center of gravity. My world had been simple - one of check lists, ambitions, and desires. It had been one filled with the dreams of what life would look like when I had achieved a level of success.
As my heart fell deeply in love, I allowed myself to follow it. I chose a career in non-profit ventures. I moved across the country. I allowed myself to shed my younger self - the one that had believed my life’s purpose was to work in the legal field fighting for human rights (a very noble career that I sincerely thank others for taking on). I allowed myself, with the support of my husband - then boyfriend, to envision a world where I wasn’t on a simple straight line or tied to a timetable… But that world twisted everything up. It scared me and confused me. It de-centered me in such a way that I entered my non-profit career focused on looking for a center, a new path. I immersed myself in a mission and gave everything of myself to it - it became my north star… There had always been cracks in the foundation there, in my new motivation, and yet I needed that straight path again. I ignored them and plunged into the deep without a care or concern - much like I’m writing this blog. There was no real plan, just a hope that this path would lead to a better understanding.
And then, just as I had everything, the adoring husband, the thriving job, and a great community - I still felt restless. I couldn’t shake that some part of me needed more, but I couldn’t figure out what. So we moved across the country yet again and I again immersed myself in my job to have everything start to fall apart… My husband’s career seemed at a cross roads, my mobility in my career seemed stalled, the community I thought I’d find - nowhere, and that part of me wanting to grow and become the “me” I knew was still waiting to come out still trapped somehow. By, what I clam, was quite a miracle, my daughter was conceived in one try, before we quickly realized we might not be quite ready, and the greatest thing on earth happened to me… I became a mom.
I stopped being so focused on my career, myself, and I entered a sometimes lonely and isolating world full of joy and love and bewilderment. At first, I rejected this new role and life. I didn’t understand how I was going to be fractured into so many pieces to be all the things I was before and the new things I needed to be now. And for years, I wasn’t very good at anything. Let’s be honest - no one is really great at everything every day, but I really wasn’t showing up for anyone but my baby, not even me. I completely lost myself… And then, the most amazing thing happened… I found myself in the most horrible of moments when something so severe rocked me that I never imagined would happen. I came to terms with who I had become, the eating disorder I had always refused to acknowledge, and the reality that all this time I’d been swimming without the most important thing, me. The true and real me that knew who I was, what I wanted, and who I was meant to be. I realized that I had been doing this all wrong - my career didn’t define me and it wasn’t my north star… it was a reflection of me.
A series of events so bizarre, landed us back across the country and in a place where I have had the privilege not to work and it has been in this space that I’ve finally gotten back to my blank slate. However, this time the real me is sitting here. I’m not sure what I’m going to work on, what career path I will eventually choose, but I’m showing up as myself and for now… that’s all that matters.
*Special thank you to my husband and daughter who inspire me and feed my heart and soul…