Throughout your life, you reinvent yourself.
Every new school grade brought new friends and a new environment. Summers spent at camps mixed you with a new crowd. And college can just completely change who you are. All the time, growing, changing, evolving, becoming the person you eventually grow up to be. But then there you are, a grown-up, and everything starts to settle in. No new environments, no new crowds. You become your adult self, and that’s who you are for the rest of your life. At least, that’s what I thought.
About a year ago, I was feeling stuck. I was a wife, a mother of two daughters, and a full-time employee. I had settled into those roles but was looking for more. When I saw the post on the Fairfield County Moms Blog looking for contributors, I had butterflies in my stomach. Before I could overthink it (as I do most things), I filled out my info and hit send. It was one of the bravest things I had done in a long time, and one of the only things I had actually done for myself since becoming a mother.
Writing had always been my secret passion. I would write funny little stories as a kid, and I had real aspirations to write a book. And then, life happened. I started my career in the television industry, a far cry from the novelist future I had planned on. I had one child, then another. My life was very full and very busy. I couldn’t tell you what made me decide to fill out my info. I hadn’t been published before. I hadn’t even written anything for decades. But on that fateful spring day, I did it. And I’m so glad.
I told a friend at work, through tears of joy when I was chosen to be a contributor, that as an adult you never feel like you win anything anymore. I loved my family, I loved my life, but that surge of adrenaline wasn’t something I had felt for as long as I could remember. But the day our editor called to say she wanted me, I did win. I won the freedom to express my thoughts, my worries, and my hopes with the readers. I won the chance to live out a dream I’ve had for a very long time, for someone to read my words. And I’m proud of myself.
Becoming a mother sets you up for sleepless nights, messy bedrooms, and sticky surfaces. It also makes you completely forget about taking care of yourself. When people talk about “self-care”, I usually ignore it. I’m not the type of person who would go get a massage or my nails done. But self-care comes in many different forms, and for me, it was recognizing a goal and achieving it.
So as I reflect on one year of making one dream come true, I’m starting to think of my next challenge to myself. I had thought my path was set, but now I see it was only the beginning.