Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Friday, June 6, 2008

Finding Me

I think that I am starting to lose myself. Or maybe I'm just now realizing that I already did. Has my life changed so much that I have changed and don't really have more parts to my identity than being a mommy and a wife? I have to wonder: did God design these areas of our lives in such a way that because of them we lose our former selves or is it because of them we are really finding ourselves?

I am having some brain-chaos these days. The last week or so has been exceptionally hard for me. I don't really feel overwhelmed by my life (i.e. children, chores, etc)...anymore than usual. I just have all these thoughts, mostly trying to figure out "things," particularly myself. My hands will never move fast enough for me to get these feelings out and often-times, I don't even have the means to be at the computer to type or have a piece of paper and a pen nearby to write. A lot of the time, the storm this jumble of thoughts creates finds other ways to dissipate. Like yelling at my children. Like crying uncontrollably. Like laughing hysterically at ridiculous stories I wrote when I was 9. Sometimes, I get the urge to cook a lot. Or redecorate. Or buy (and eat) a lot of sweets. If I was wealthy, my vice would be shopping; my choice purchases: items from the bakery and interior decorations. I can just see me now, walking in the door with bags impregnated with pies and cookies and anything chocolate from the bakery at the store instead of the food we need like eggs, milk and bread. And I can see my husband coming home from work, finding me in a sugar-induced coma on the couch (which I probably moved to other side of the room), surrounded by new linens and picture frames and some sort of potpourri dispenser.

(The tangent I just went on about food and decorating is also part of my brain's chaos finding its way out.)

I recently got back in touch with an old friend from middle school. At the end of her most recent email to me she said to make sure I make time for myself. I think that I laughed at that. And then I cried. The time I make for myself during the day usually comes with a price to pay: sleep. I would love to be napping when my children are, having just in the last week or so gotten the baby to nap at the same time the other kids do. But instead I stay up and I write or I eat (often my first meal of the day) or I get immersed in some cheesy old movie from 1994 compliments of Free Movies On Demand.

I don't know where I've gone. I know I've written about this before, wondering how to take all the different aspects of my identity and give them each some room. But I still haven't figured it out. Being a wife and mother are my two main focuses for my life right now. This I know. I am not complaining about that and I love both of these aspects of who I am. But somewhere, somehow, I'd like to find the other part of me that isn't either of those things. The person, the woman I know I am. The one who likes to read and write and run. The one who would like to take kick-boxing and learn to paint. The one who likes to go out and have a drink and some dinner with friends.....That one. I don't really feel like I know myself anymore past the aspect of being a mommy to my children who only know me as that and a wife to my husband who doesn't seem to know too much about me at all.

Since I became a mother and a wife I often feel like it's too hard to figure out how much has changed me, who I am beyond these titles. I do have to admit that even if I was just being a normal healthy person, living my life in a normal healthy way before I had babies or got married, I still would've been completely changed by these happenings. It is sort of forced in a way, though in the sea of life there are many choices a person makes about what to change, what to give up and what to allow especially when they become someone's spouse or mother. But in doing these things, and allowing for the current of these two waves to take me wherever they want to go, I have become a different person in general. I am a lot stronger than I ever thought I could be. I am a lot happier. A lot more fulfilled. I am a lot more funny than I thought I was. I am more patient and quiet and calm. I am learning more things about myself out here on these waters than I would have just standing on the shore.

So maybe, just maybe, it's not that I have lost myself but through these happenings in my life, have truly found myself instead.

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