Thursday, March 23, 2006

Identity

I have so much to do, and I can't do any of it. There are so many things running around in my head I feel I will burst if I don't get them down. I've been trying to avoid the computer all morning, pretend I don't notice it. And I've had more phone calls this morning than I've had all week, not to mention other various mini-catastrophes that seems to be continually interrupting my well-intentioned day. But I've finally given in. I've given myself over to it. I put on the Magic School Bus for the kids and here I am. Hey...it's an educational video, right?

I have a good friend who wrote a wonderful blog about finding herself. It is interesting that I read it this morning when I am in the midst of some of the same issues myself. I am thirty-two years old. I should have this down by now, shouldn't I?

Hubby made the announcement the other night that I would be returning to school this fall. Huh?! I've always wanted to go back to school. I loved school, and did really well, but that was way back when I had nothing else to do but school. How will I juggle homework and papers in between marriage, children, homeschool, church and housework and have any kind of a social life? Do I have the discipline to make it work? And what the heck do I want to be when I grow up anyway? I don't even know. The thought terrified and thrilled me at the same time. Can I have a life outside this house? Is that legal? Can I assimilate into society again? I mentioned the thought of going back to school to a friend...a working mom. "You're bored, aren't you?" were the first words out of her mouth. I was hurt. Me? Bored? Are you kidding?! Haven't you heard? I am Supermom! I have the greatest job in the world and I love it!!! I'm certainly not bored...am I?

I have a friend in my life that continues to cause me more stress in my life instead of comfort and support. We met in Lamaze class when we were both pregnant with our firstborn children. I was still working at the time, so we had two incomes, nice cars, nice clothes, etc. We starting hanging out after the babies were born and really hit it off. I didn't go back to work, though, thus making my income, and all the things I was able to have with it, much less. It was something I was happy to do. A sacrifice I wanted to make. But she seemed to keep chasing after that dream of the house, the cars and all the extras. And I've always felt she was somewhat disappointed to discover that I wasn't perhaps who I appeared to be when she first met me. I'm not the well dressed woman in a new car...always together and polished. She has laughed at the vehicles I've driven and wondered aloud when we would get something "newer". It's not a big deal to me. I wish it weren't to her. She came to see me yesterday with her baby girl and dropped off some girl baby clothes I had loaned her. After she left, I wanted to cry about what she had left for me. The clothes were in a small, plastic bag...not even half of what I gave to her. Some weren't even mine. Some outfits had been split up, leaving me with bloomers and no dresses to go with them. Some I knew she hadn't even looked at. What's the big deal? It's clothes, right? Yeah, I know. I felt silly at first. But it was more than that. These were clothes I cried over when I folded them up and put them away for the last time. These were things I knew I would never have the chance to put on one of my own babies again. These were beautiful, well cared for things that held a piece of who I was, and would never be again - a mom with a baby. I had given them to her as a precious gift, so close to my heart. And they weren't special to her. Not good enough.

A friend called me this morning to let me know our high school had an alumni website and gave me orders to "go and create a profile". "You can email anyone!" she announced excitedly. She gave me the lowdown on a couple of people we knew way back when and I pretended to be interested. She was sure I didn't know about the website since I hadn't posted anything on it. I didn't have the heart to tell her I knew about it, I just didn't care. High school was a fun and wonderful time in my life. It was a great experience. But I don't care to put on my tiara and pretend I am Homecoming Queen again. Well...okay...maybe I would like to do that, but that's not my point. I don't know that girl anymore. She was fun and sweet and all, but she and I don't relate today. What? Post my picture on the alumni website? Yeah, right. Let me try to find the scary "here's-what-I-look-like-when-I-first-roll-out-of-bed" picture and I'll get right on that. Who cares what I am like now? Why do I care who cares? Nobody cares. They want to see if there is anyone who is worse off than themselves so they can poke fun and get a rush of self assurance and feel validated. Or they want to brag about their lives so everyone will think they are great and get a rush of self assurance and feel validated. I don't need it. I've moved on.

So, if I'm not Supermom and I'm not the Homecoming Queen, who am I? I am so many things - wife, mother, teacher, friend, daughter, writer, poet, artist, and somewhere deep inside there is a rock star, dying to get out. And who I am today will be different tomorrow. My husband can attest to that. I think of the Proverbs 31 woman and wonder if she really existed. Can a person be all those things and do it all well? It seems impossible to me. The journey to find myself has proven to be one of hurt and healing. The discovery that brings me most joy is to find that I want more than anything to be a daughter of the King and make him smile with all the silly stuff I enjoy. I don't know that I'll ever figure the rest of it out.

Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm going to dig out my tiara and do some much needed housework.

7 comments:

jesprincess said...

I'm pretty sure that Proverbs 31 was a fantasy of Soloman the Wise's. Let me know if I can help. Juggling the homemaker-wife-mom job with school is hard, but it's fun and worth it if it's really something you want to do. I have to admit though that I don't know how I would do it along with homeschooling, but you're Supermom and I'm sure you CAN do it.

jessica said...

It can be difficult to take classes and juggle housework, schoolwork, and children...but it can be done. I didn't start college until after I started having babies...and now almost two graduate degrees later I am still alive. In fact, I am now a part-time college professor (sounds so professional! If you have any questions about school or majors let me know!

LiteratureLover said...

Return to school? I can understand your fear; I would freak too! But,if that's what you want, I know you could do it. Maybe Daddy could teach kids on some of the subjects while you're at school. I hate what happened with your friend and the baby clothes. There's no excuse for that. If she lost them, she should have at least apologized.

How could boredom be your problem? You're too fun for that! :)

janiners said...

all I can say, girlie, is that I'll be right there with you in the fall. i will be thinking of and praying for you; it's a big decision, but not impossible! hooray! i can't wait to get back to school!

Michelle- This One's For The Girls said...

I just posted on LL's blog that you guys have really gotten me to thinking about this subject lately. I know my thoughts will eventually form into a blog post...

Warm Hearts said...

I have been reading your blog from time to time. Just couldn't let this blog pass without a word.

I think it is great that your hubby is so willing and encouraging to you about your schooling. As a grandmother looking back on the child rearing years I realize just how fast they breeze by. It is a very brief time in your life...believe me. Your three children are a precious treasure that will be up and out of your house before your turn around. There will be many years of empty nest when school would be one of many options. The questions you have to consider are; will my children have enough of my emotional and physically energy if I am focused on school? Will I be able to meet the needs of my husband and home. This is not to say that this can't be done but I do have a great concern for the amount of stress that this will place on you and your family. I know you are seeking the Lord concerning your decision about school just wanted to give a grandmothers perspective.

Blessings,
Meme's Pen

Andreia said...

I am a recovering Super Mom. I homeschooled for several years. I love my home, my children and well, even my husband.

I turned 35 recently, and I decided that I could no longer ignore the voice inside me that wanted to do for herself. I wanted to get my masters. I wanted to write.

I have been baby-stepping into a life of a bit more freedom. I started volunteering. I applied to graduate school. I write daily. I altered my youngest kids mornings in order to get to the gym.

And you know what?

My family is better for it!
I am more THERE when I am THERE. (although I never realized that I wasn't fully present in spirit) It has been a really, really good thing for me and my kids.

Ultimately, you are blessed that your husband can see you in such a wonderful way. And, because God is in charge, your path will become more clear to you as you walk it.

Don't let fear keep you from taking that first step.