Don't take life too serious.

Conflicted Heart: A Stay at Home Mom Returns to Work.

Why does my heart feel like it’s going to beat right out of my chest? I swear I feel almost naseous right now. Ok, get a grip and just make the call.

“Good afternoon, Thank you for calling STS. How can I help you?”

“Hi. May I please speak with Barbara?”

“Sure. Can I ask who’s calling?”

“Yes. My name is Dawn and I’m calling to follow up on a job offer.”

“Oh yes, I remember you! Let me get Barb for ya.”

Ok. Now I feel like I’m about to cry. What the hell is wrong with me?

“Hi, Dawn! It’s so nice to hear from you. What can I do for you?”

“Hi, Barbara. I’m excited to let you know I’ve decided to accept the position offered and join your team at STS.”

***

As I hung up the phone, it hit me. These weren’t the regular rattled nerves I get when I have to make an important phone call. My body was freaking out, because my mind was processing what this phone call really meant. My time being a stay at home mom is over. This is so incredibly bittersweet for me.

conflicted heart

The Sweet.

I’m ready. I am tired of struggling financially. Surviving on one middle class income is next to impossible, and that is a fucking shame. Seriously. It can be done, but the constant stress involved just became too much for me. That kind of stress affects everything and everyone. At times, it put a strain on my relationship that has never been felt before. I can’t live like that, especially when I don’t have to. Money is evil. What’s even more evil is when there isn’t enough of that shit. I get that more now than ever before in my life.

I am more than only a parent. I want my children to understand and witness that. I want them to see me not only contributing financially to our family, but more so, I want them to know what I am capable of. I work in the field of helping people because my heart is in it, which makes me good at it. I want to use my gifts for a purpose greater than a financial reward, and I want to model that for both of my children. My kids will know and understand they are my heart, even if I’m not standing right next to them all day.

 The Bitter.

I have been given the gift of time over the past two years. Time to be busy with things that really matter to me. We all do things in our jobs that matter, but it ultimately benefits someone else’s interests. I’ve had freedom to invest my time in my family and myself. I’ll forever be grateful for that. I’ve had the opportunity to be around for the good stuff–little man’s ‘just because’ cuddles, philosophical and/or ridiculous kid conversation in the middle of the day, putting the sassy one on the school bus and being home when her school day ends. I’ll miss that. Terribly.

Even though there have been days I am convinced I’m screwing my children up, I like that I am the one doing it. Nobody will take care of, teach and love my children the way I do. I absolutely do not want someone else in charge of all that for 8+ hours out of the day, but there is not middle ground to walk on with this situation.

My oldest daughter went to daycare for the first three years of her life and she is thriving. It’s not that I believe any less will be true for my son, but it’s different this time around. I’m all he knows. I know no one is going to sing him My Little Sunshine at nap time like I have done for the past two years. Call me a wuss, but that stings a little. Actually, it hurts like hell.

What I know now…

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know now what I want to do in the mean time. Live. Authentically live. Being home with my kids over the past two years and creating this blog has given me the insight and experiences to help me do just that. Not that I didn’t live a fulfilling life before, but until now, I had baggage that constantly sat heavy on my heart. The baggage isn’t gone, but put away in a room that I am more confident exploring it in. Finally, my story will help me move forward, not continue to anchor me in heartache.

I have learned that I can be both vulnerable and empowered. Any mom will tell you that being around a reflection of yourself all day will certainly strip you down, and hold your ego accountable. And like raising kids, you can’t run from yourself if you’re going to write. Being Momma full time and reconnecting with the pen has taught me to finally stop running. I needed that lesson.

I’m really a ball of emotion, as my last few weeks in SAHMville come to an end. I’m starting to notice little things that I know I’ll miss, and new or familiar things I’m looking forward to experiencing. I’m trying to stay positive and open about what this new chapter will bring. If nothing else, having the opportunity to be a SAHM has taught me to just let life happen. And that is exactly what I intend to do.

 

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Momma has lost her mind.

Dance Party For One Please.

dancing

It was 10 am and I was heading out to the dreaded grocery store. Before I got out of the driveway, I put together a play list that would wrap itself around my rather spunky mood at the time. I backed out of the driveway and hit play. Suddenly, my truck transformed in to my very own one woman show. I became that person.

Ben Howard had me contemplating the constraints of fear. Eminem and Sia had me fist pumping the idea of guts over glory. Iggy Azalea turned me in to the most bad-ass rappin’ momma you’ve ever seen. I was a black widow baby. Oh yeah, I was in the zone.

The road became my stage and I owned the floor. I didn’t care that the car behind me probably thought I was having some sort of freak attack, as the back end of my truck mimicked my own hind end. When I got stuck at a four way, waiting for adequate space between cars so that I could make a left hand turned, I turned the music up. I didn’t care the cars behind me, beside me and in front of me could see my ridiculous ass, as I bopped my head, sang like I was double-fisting margheritas, got my duck face on and dropped it like it was hot, as much as one can while in a vehicle.

As I finally got the chance to make that turn, I made eye contact with a car full of women that appeared to be around my age. They were laughing out loud. One shot me a thumbs up and another was swooping the air with her fist in that Arsenio Hall kind of way. I threw my head back and laughed and waved. I couldn’t hear what they were saying but I knew how they were feeling, as they caught me gettin’ my dance on underneath that traffic light. It’s that kind of thing where you hear a complete stranger belly laugh and you can’t help but laugh yourself. Joy is contangious like that.

That 20 minute ride left me more refreshed than I have felt in a while.

There is magic in those moments when you don’t give a shit about what people think. Those rare minutes we are lucky enough to sometimes have, when joy wins and life allows you to drink it right up. It’s that spunk that we all seem to lose a bit of as we get older. As we fall in to the role of adult, we unfortunately worry too much about what other people think. It gets in the way of spontaneous fun. We go looking for that elusive bullshit called a “happy life” and forget that happiness is only mere moments that we have to let happen.

“Take time for yourself.” We women hear that all the damn time. What does that even mean? Ain’t nobody got time for that! On the daily, I am a SAHM with financial and emotional stress that hangs heavy on every thought I own. I don’t have the ability to take time. What I had that day was the awareness that I could have a moment.

That’s what we should be reminding each other. Own the fleeting moments when you are in a good mood and go with it. Turn on some tunage and drop it like it’s hot mommas! Turn the spatuala into a diamond studded microphone and let your inner tone def Mariah Carey out. Our kids and husbands are going to laugh at us anyway, right?

I wish I could bottle that exuberant, I-don’t-give-a-frick attitude I had yesterday. I wish that shit was pixie dust I could just cover myself in when a funk sets in. Truth be told, life wears me down. More than I would like to admit. Depression is a monster under my bed and I don’t let loose nearly enough. I’m not 20-something anymore and liquid encouragement isn’t something I can depend on to help me feel alive. “Good times” aren’t readily available when adulthood meets parenthood and collides with the stressful reality we all live in.

The music is still in all of us. We just have to let it out. We have to allow ourselves to tap in to that childlike joy, that silliness, that inner rock star we all have lying dormant in side of us. What I know for sure is happiness is fleeting. It will slip right through your fingers if you don’t nurture it in the rare moments it’s begging to make an appearance. Ladies, when our ever swinging moods hit a high note, we need to take full advantage! Put the real world on hold…and just dance people!

Life can be serious business.

A Mother Comes Undone.

falling apart

“Motherhood pushed open a door that I thought I had managed to close for the last time. I, like most I believe, thought that a baby would be placed in my arms and I would be filled with so much love that the pieces of my broken heart, pieces I worked so hard to glue back together, would finally solidify. I didn’t expect new cracks to form.”

This is an excerpt from a new post I have up today on the Trigger Points website. I hope you decide to head over and subscribe to follow along. Click here to read the full article.

Momma has lost her mind.

Who Knew So Many Parents ‘Get’ Me.

hell yeah

Since posting my most recent article, Can I Get A ‘Hell Yeah’ For Mediocre Parenting, I have become humorously aware of how much alike us parents are, instead of different and caddy, as the media portrays us to be.

Today, my article is being featured on an Australian parenting online magazine called Kidspot. Those Aussies are funny mums and pops. I’ve spent the morning reading comments and I think I even converted a few to become red wine drinkers. Yesterday, the article was published on Huff Post Parents. Pretty awesome!

I already knew how humor can bring us all together, but I didn’t realize until now how being able to laugh at ourselves as parents could make us all calm down the mommy guilt we all carry.

My favorite comments are the ones where women are recommending the article to their girlfriends. I see a lot of “So us!” I think this post resonates with so many because I’ve said out loud what I normally only say to my closest girlfriends. It really just goes to show we are all doing the best we can and no one really has this gig totally figured out.

So cheers to being down right normal! May we all understand that losing our shit once in a while does not, in fact, mean we aren’t loving, awesome parents. 😉 ~Dawn

~Dawn

Life can be serious business.

The Gift of an Imperfect Mother.

“Momma, I feel sad and I don’t know why.”

Startled to find my daughter so upset, I walked to her bed and put her on my lap. She nuzzled her head in to the crook of my neck and cried. I pulled her away a bit so that I could see her face. There it was. Pale lips and dark circles under her eyes. She was just tired. I told her to take a few deep breathes with me, close her eyes, and I rubbed her back until I heard that familiar rhythm in her breathe. I kissed her cheek and headed downstairs.

My daughter is so much like me. An old soul full of heart and fury. She digs deep to find the funny in life, but easily trips over frustration. I watch her get stuck on sad and overwhelmed when she’s angry. She loves deeply. She is persistently after a purpose. She is all or nothing. A trait that I know first hand can break you, if you never learn how to bend.

I walked from room to room, picking up toys and clothes and dishes. I couldn’t stop thinking about the very real possibility that my children will be at battle with their emotions and thoughts the way I have always been. Mental illness and trauma run rampant through my blood line. I am a product of generational dysfunctions, mental illness and addictive personalities. Raised on a foundation like that, how can I not fear that my children will feel a ripple effect.

Truth is, I’m scared as hell. Of myself. That I am only going to encourage the ripple, simply by being me. That my faulted inner dialogue will start to become theirs. I am damaged goods, and it’s only a matter of time before I wear off on them.

The weight of thinking this way pushes the air right out of me. It’s so familiar. A usual game-over for me, to which I fall defeated in to a funk. However, there is something different about this moment. I’m am less accepting of this way of thinking. This scenario that has played out in my head over and over seems to have lost some of its power.

imperfect mom

Maybe it is because of my inherent broken pieces, my sorrow, my personal fight, that I am the mother that they need. If and/or when that ripple reaches them, I’ll notice. They won’t get lost in a wave of unbalanced chemicals like I did. I see invisible red flags everywhere I go, because I’ve been the one waving them. I know how to keep my children from being vulnerable to the real predators. I know the importance of trusting my gut and can teach my children to do the same.

I understand the value of validating a child’s words and actions, because mine never were. I know how dangerous it is to neglect a child’s mental health. I have the scars to prove it. It’s because of those invisible scars that I can love, nurture and protect my children with empathy. I have to remember that although wounded, I have succeeded at breaking a cycle. I did that. That holds more power than any cracks in my or my children’s foundation.

Embracing our imperfections for what they are and what they are not is the only way to ease this kind of fear. We can’t change the building blocks our children have been given, but we can accept them with grace. We don’t have all the answers but what we do know, they will be better off for it. We need to stop tearing ourselves apart and harboring so much unnecessary guilt. Most of us would never advise a friend the way we advise ourselves. So why do we value others self worth more than our own?

Isn’t this true for most parents? That we all have these self doubts and moments of “not good enough”. The reasons are different but I truly believe it is because we just want to get this one job, raising our children, right.

Perhaps these imperfections are my tools, gifts really, that allow me to raise, protect and love in a way that fits my children’s mold. We all want the next generation to do a little better than we did. We have to be in tuned with our own glitches in order to make that happen. If we never accept and examine the glitches, we may never see them for what they really are–advantages.

My children may turn out like me, but they are not me. I can only hope that it is the best parts of me that they absorb. They will benefit from what I’ve been through, hopefully without ever having to experience it. But if in fact they do grow to have demons that knock on their own door, they will be equipped with the most perfect, imperfect tools I can give them…and they will thrive.

Life can be serious business.

A New Chapter – The Creation Of An Anthology.

trigger point cover

Ever notice when you’re in a small crowd, and one person brings up a difficult subject to talk about, how quickly people are to open up about their own experiences? We want to be that one person, on a much larger scale.

Our plan is to create an Anthology. We have searched extensively online for supportive information for parents who are survivors of physical and/or sexual abuse – there is little to none. This topic is touched on in the vast amount of literature already written on abuse, but there is nothing that we could find specifically for parents.

It’s discouraging that an awareness so vital to a survivor’s ability to raise healthy children, is a mere chapter in a book. There are so many of us, how much longer can we keep so quiet?

We want to give survivors an opportunity to act on the bond that we all seem to share – supporting other survivors. We will support the writers through out the process and will allow any writer to remain anonymous. If there is ever going to be a break in the epidemic that is child abuse, it has to start with us – parents who are tired of suffering in silence. We have to tell our stories, learn from one another and help non-survivors become more aware.

That’s why we want parents to come forward, and share their stories with us. Joyelle said it best, when I asked her opinion on the over-all theme of the book. Her idea was to ask survivors to share how the abuse has affected their parenting, but more about how becoming a parent has forced them to address the parts of themselves that still need healing. And that is exactly it.

When a parent is derailed by the effects of his or her childhood abuse, or a survivor’s loved one is having difficulties understanding what he’s going through, we want them to find our stories.

submissions pic

We have created a Facebook page to help guide you in submitting your story.

https://www.facebook.com/TriggerPointsAnthology?ref=hl

Follow the link to find the details you need, regarding submitting a personal essay for this anthology. If something is unclear, please feel free to email us at triggerpointsanthology@gmail.com.

Please, please, please (I’m not above begging, just ask my children) click the link, like the page, share it on any or all social media outlets, and ask your friends to share. Even if you are not interested in submitting a story, odds are, you know someone that may be. We need your support to get this project off the ground!

Every single survivor has a story, that has the potential to help build a more empowered community of parents. You don’t need to be a professional writer or a blogger to participate in this project. We’ll help you craft your words.

Just Be Brave.


**This project was ignited by Joyelle’s reaction to a piece I wrote, Raising A Girl As A Survivor, for Scary Mommy. It is an article about my own experiences on being a mom, and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It may give you an idea of what we are looking for; however, please let your story guide you.

My co-editor wrote a post today as well, on her thoughts about this passionate and crazy adventure we are starting on. Here’s the link: Passion, Purpose, and the Journey

Life can be serious business.

Raising A Girl As A Survivor.

I often find myself up against the effects of my childhood sexual abuse, not only as a woman, but now as a mother.

raising a girl

“Momma, Can I put on some make-up?”

I tell my daughter she is beautiful with out it, but “Sure honey, what’s the harm?”

Internally, I am struggling with ideas of beauty and sexuality and safety and how all of this will play out in her life. I can’t help but want to tell my daughter “No”, she can’t wear make-up; and in the years ahead of her, “No”, she can’t wear anything that sexualizes her in any way. I want to protect her as much as I can against catching the attention of a predator – even knowing that idea is a farce. Make-up and fashion statements have nothing to do with victimization. Predators don’t look for lipstick and short skirts. They look and wait for opportunity, usually within surroundings that are comfortable to a child.

At her age, I became a sexual object to some one. I know enough now to know, it had nothing to do with what I looked like, but more of the opportunity given to a man with a sick addiction and no self control. It’s not what the child looks like, but how vulnerable she is.

Does every woman grow hollow inside when she hears a man tell her daughter that she looks pretty? It shrinks me into a scared ten year-old little girl, now wondering if this man too, will do to me what other “good” men have done. Except, it’s not about me anymore. It’s about my daughter. It’s about the compulsive urge I have to protect her from ever being preyed upon, like I was.

I could be wrong. Perhaps the guy at the cook-out that complimented my daughter is of no harm. But when I got that kick of uneasiness in his presence, I paid attention. It doesn’t occur every time I or my daughter are around men. Only sometimes. So every time, I listen and know that whether the man involved is her best friend’s father, the town pastor, a friend’s brother or even someone related to her, I will never let her be in a position to be groomed by him.

I have to teach my daughter how to listen to and feel that sixth sense that we all have. The most effective tool she can possess is trusting herself. For now, we call it the “uh-oh” feeling. It’s an idea a school social worker taught me while interning at an elementary school. I connected with that “uh-oh” feeling because I recognized it. It’s what made me keep a secret for over eight years. I want my daughter to not be scared of that feeling like I was, but to pay attention to it and to react to it no matter what.

The most difficult part to all of this is when that uneasiness sets in at times I know are irrational, like when my husband helps our daughter with her shower or is having a playful game of tickle monster with her. I have to convince myself that in spite of what the literature and statistics say, I will never continue the cycle of abuse – as the victim or the abuser. I have to pull myself out of the hole these innocent events and ingrained thoughts push me in, and recognize the irrational fear.

After my failed search for stories on what it’s like to live and experience motherhood as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I was reminded how quiet survivors are. I know the role that shame has in keeping it that way, but a discussion on the effects of the abuse that resurface, or suddenly arise, when we become mothers is something we need to talk about. I feel like it’s vital to our ability to raise healthy girls ourselves.

***

“Momma, If a boy kisses you, does that mean he loves you?”

Perhaps the “everything happens for a reason” rhetoric finally makes sense to me now. I am able to see the damage that is done, when our daughters are told yes to this question. Love is more than a kiss, or any contact with her physical body. Teaching her to equate love with either, implies she is suppose to love, in the presence of the other. That doesn’t leave much room for choice.

“Baby, a boy kisses you because he chooses to kiss you, it doesn’t always mean he loves you. And a boy, or any one else, should never kiss you unless you want him to. If he does, I highly encourage you to punch him in the nose.”

***

(I am also the mother of a son and recognize the need and desire of mothers everywhere to keep their son’s safe; as well as, their daughters. This story is more in line with the effects of the abuse and raising my daughter. That doesn’t mean, I am concerned any less about my son or the numerous male survivors struggling with their own stories.)

**Originally featured on Scary Mommy.

Fiction

The River Ran Through Her.

Hannah had been driving through the Adirondack mountains for hours, racing the river to clear her head. She left her family behind on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, with an urgency even she didn’t understand. She kept one eye on the road and one on the river, convinced she was looking for something, just not sure what.

wpid-IMG_20140907_150650976.jpgHannah slams on the breaks and pulls the car to the side of the road. Leaving her shoes in the car, she walks down to the river. She laughs at the sight of the rock that caught her attention from the road. It has rays of sunshine beaming down on it, as if it is calling to her. She couldn’t resist heading right for it.

Hannah begins jumping from one rock to the next, offering no time to contemplate fear. She smiles as she reaches the boulder begging for her company. She pleas with her clumbsiness to stay at bay, as she awkwardly climbs to sit on the rock.

Hannah isn’t used to sitting still. She’s used to her mind and body being pulled in a thousand directions, always dictated by other people’s needs. She bends her knees to her chest and closes her eyes. She begs the restlessness to calm down.

Hannah begins to hear the loud silence of the water racing downstream. wpid-IMG_20140907_150627439_HDR.jpgLooking both up and down the river, she starts to see the thousands of rocks, littering the water’s path. Each one embedded without permission, demanding to be considered. She thinks about the difficult circumstances she has made it through as these rocks, and her ability to overcome them as the water constantly running through. The river becomes a force Hannah feels confident surrounded by.

A strong gust of wind blows – a manifestation of Hanna’s incarcerated energy. Finally – she breathes. An inhale strong enough to wake her.

Hannah timidly slides off her clothes and places her feet in the river.  wpid-IMG_20140907_150832327.jpgShe braces herself for a shock of cold. Instead, the warmth clings to her skin, seeping into her soul. It moves her to walk deeper. Hannah knows there is a reason she was called to this open space and is moved to walk deeper. She risks being seen from the road and maneuvers each slippery rock with conviction.

She can no longer resist baptizing herself in the moment. Hannah submerges herself in the river, conforming her body to the rocks. Water rushing over her bare skin, she dips her head back and allows the river to run her completely over. She eagerly gives in to it, feeling no need to come up for air. The stress of life – motherhood, relationships, family, money, self doubt – she could feel the water pulling it out of her pores, leaving her lighter and finally free.

Hannah stands up. She confidently manipulates the stones to carry her out of the river. As she reaches the rock that initially called her to this space, she arches her back against its heated skin. She feels the sun recharging her spirit.

Hannah dressed and walked back to her car. She did a U-turn in the road and headed home. She set out today with the idea of finding herself on repeat in her head. sunset As she finished her journey, driving in to a sun set as perfect as her time alone has been, she felt relieved of her search.

A Piscean true at heart – it’s no wonder Hannah found her self by the river, contemplating forces that run both with and against nature.

 

 

 

Momma has lost her mind.

An Open Letter To Mothers Of Grown Children.

open letter

You always give yourself away, by the way you smile at me and my young children. Your eyes soften and for a split second, I can see you swimming in a flood of memories. It’s usually a blended look of, “I miss when my kids were that age” and “Good God, I don’t miss that!”

Either way, I just want to say thank you.

Thank you for compassionately connecting your eyes with mine, offering silent understandings and acknowledgment that I am doing the best I can, when I’m about to lose my shit in public. You laugh at my last ditch efforts to keep my kids from melting in the check out aisle, with food I haven’t even paid for yet. I can always count on a kind, “I’ve been there, honey!” from you.

Thank you for telling me my babies are beautiful, even when my daughter has smears of grape jelly still upside her face from lunch and my son’s hair is standing on its curly ends, because I’m too much of a wuss to make him sit through a hair cut he despises. I never have to follow up your compliments with an excuse as to why my children may appear unkempt. You get it.

Thank you for giving my children your own version of the Mom look when you see me disciplining them, instead of treating the situation as a bother or act of endangerment. You don’t ignore the fact that it truly takes a village, and that is truly appreciated.

Thank you for noticing when my kids are polite and use their manners. We younger Moms always seem to be trying to convince ourselves that we don’t absolutely suck at this job. When you compliment them, you’re really complimenting me. I’m pretty sure you know that already, and that’s why you do it. What you may not realize is how much of a positive effect it has on me. Perhaps you missed how much taller I stood, after you walked away.

Be it Moms of friends, older women I’ve worked with or complete strangers I run in to, women who have already raised their children always seem to put me at ease. You always manage to remind me I’m only human, which is very much needed these days. When you share, what you thought at the time, was your own epic parenting failures, it gives me hope that I’m not screwing up my kids as bad as I think I am. The fact that you share a laugh with me when telling your stories, and you’re not in a rubber room drooling all over yourself, also gives me hope.

Your hindsight always seems to put Motherhood in to perspective, and reminds me that maybe I am better at raising my kids than Google. Somehow a conversation with you lacks the judgment often felt when talking to Mother’s my own age. I can’t explain that one and even hate admitting it, but it’s so often present.

So please, don’t shy away from saying what your eyes are shouting, when you see me with my young children. You’re not bothering me. I’m always in too much of a hurry anyway. I promise I won’t complain when you tell me to “enjoy it”. The fast pace in which it all goes, comes through loud and clear, every time we meet.

********************************************************************************************************************************

 

Don't take life too serious.

What Doesn’t Bend, Breaks.

 

There is something about this third decade of my life, that has opened my eyes, and my heart, just a little bit wider. For those that believe people don’t change, it’s unfortunate they missed this stage in life.

Change is necessary. It’s a platform for growth.

I can look back at the last decade of my life with perspective and a bit more earned wisdom. I can see where I steered off course, made poor choices, mistaken certain things, relationships or events for what really matters. But I regret none of it. I appreciate and know the value of the scars left behind.

I’m learning how stillness, can lend itself to moving forward. Simple motions in time, like drinking coffee on the porch, watching the kids play outside, has become way more important than a big house or expensive vacations. Our five year plan has totally morphed in to a “it will get done eventually” mantra. I’ll give up damn near everything for sunny days in the backyard with the young babes though.

I’ve definitely become more of the tortoise and less the hare. Yes, some of that may actually be due to the arthritis in my hip and sleep deprivation (yes I said I’m in my 30’s and not my 70’s); however, it’s more to do with me just being in less of a rush these days.

Had I not been in my late 20’s when I became a Mom, I don’t know that I would have been wise enough or selfish smart enough, to realize being a Mother isn’t enough. Learning how to unconditionally love others is a gift and is fulfilling. But learning how to love yourself and evolving, is necessary.

I’m not afraid to hold myself accountable to how I’m feeling anymore; or other people for that matter. I used to avoid this behavior. I don’t like confrontation. Whether it be with a best friend, co-worker, my husband, a boss or myself – I hate it. But it doesn’t scare me anymore. It doesn’t make me feel like I would rather curl up in a little ball rather than say what I need to say. I feel like my voice is streaming from a foundation worth paying attention to.

I think my drive to overcome the helplessness instilled in me, and my maternal instincts, have met at just the right time. It’s quite empowering. Both are teaching me to how to bend instead of break.

Living in the past kept me stagnant and scared. Ignoring it left me defeated. Understanding how it is connected to me now, as a woman and still pretty new Mother, seems to be right where I need to be at this point in my life. Some would say, of course you are right where you are supposed to be, where else could you be? I’d say it depends on the day.

Some days, I’m able to call myself out on my own irrational thoughts. I can pin point envy in the way I find myself judging other people. I have to ask myself why things matter so much – if it’s because it appears it will make life easier, or it’s because of what other people may think, than I know I need to check myself. Authenticity isn’t born out of ease or other people’s opinions.

I guess that’s really what I am chasing these days. Authenticity. To carve out the baggage and fine tune my soul. Every other day, I feel like I am starting from scratch. That in itself, is a beautiful lesson.