December 2016, I sat back after an unusually laid back Christmas Day that I worked weeks on to prepare for my family. As my children played with their mountain of toys from generous family and friends, my husband enjoying a nightcap while saving a distant planet from tyranny in his latest video game and my snoring German Shepherd at my feet digesting his brachiosaurus size bone he spent hours gnawing on, I could not find the will to smile. I had the holiday TV show special playing right in front of me and yet I was stuck in a heavy fog of self loathing emotions.
After a week of “relaxing”, meaning refusing to do anything but sit and binge watch tv shows, it occurred to me that my funk was not caused by pure exhaustion or having a Christmas preparation hangover. It was that I felt like I had no purpose. I sat and watched my family enjoy a perfect Christmas and yet while I would never regret putting that effort forward, it was not fulfilling my deep inner purpose. Something was missing.
Growing up I did not gravitate towards a maternal side. I never had a baby doll and played house. I had dreams of making a difference in the world, being a strong, confident, independent woman. How life can throw curveballs. I met my husband in University and within a year of graduating we were married, moved to a new city and bought our home. When we celebrated our sixth anniversary we were living the dream of a 2.5 kids suburban life. My husband was moving up in the corporate ladder. After countless conversations we decided that I would stay home with my two children instead of returning to my pre-maternal professional position. At first I embraced not having to be at a whim of an alarm clock and struggle through a busy commute. I dove in head first and tried to achieve my domestic goddess status by having a clean house and dinner waiting for my husband on the table when he arrived home after his day at the office. Each and every day, that little girl with big plans for her life, slowly was pushed into the corner.
It was in the first few days of 2017 that I finally listened to the girl in the corner. I listened to her cry about being neglected. I heard her scream in anger about missed opportunities and felt her shame about wanting more than what she has. She made me realize that everything I did for so many years was for someone else. I gravitated towards trying to be the best mother, wife, daughter and friend that I did nothing for myself. Now I found myself a homemaker, wife of 10 years, no established professional career and completely dependent on my husband. I felt her emptiness, her lost purpose and her fading dreams. We swam through our sea of confusion and desperately tried to navigate life’s muddled map to decide on which faint route that we should take.
First step was to find that deep inner purpose, a passion that would fulfill my inner child, my dream seeker. Sports, nature and animals have always been a portion of my life, but nothing I felt like I could grab onto and call my own. Writing. Anyone who knew me in my teens around school would find me with a two dollar notebook, filling each page with scenes, dialogue and inspirational pictures. A lightbulb began to flicker to life. I had been working on editing a manuscript but life’s responsibilities bullied its way to the sidelines. I grabbed my nearly forgotten story and set to finish my book. Fireworks! As I worked on the book, a weight was lifted. My inner child soon turned in the corner and faced the world. The frown began to evolve into a grin and quickly a smile. With each chapter I finished her smile grew and her head was held higher. Upon completion of my second draft she stood with confidence, chest forward and eyes focused on the finish line. A year in the making and a week before Christmas 2017, I finished my book and plan on submitting it to an editor shortly in the New Year. That little girl is now walking away from the lonely, depressing corner she was banished to so many years ago. She is walking away as a determined, self loving woman, ready and willing to see what life has in store for her.
Finding a life work balance is essential for everyone. Trying not be lost with life’s daily tasks and still living for yourself. Additionally, the moment a person becomes connected to another, whether it is through marriage or with a birth of a child, it opens a whole new world of excitement and experiences that you could ever dream of having. However, it also poses the threat of losing yourself in the additional responsibilities and ever changing environment. It took years for me to realize that being a wife and a mom, a role I adore and continue to love each and every day was casting a shadow upon my personal being. This blog is the beginning of my journey to search for my new personal purpose and continue to find an equilibrium in my ever changing domestic and personal life.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your already busy day. I hope this blog will help anyone looking for acceptance and satisfaction if they are enduring a similar situation. I vow to continue documenting experiences with humour and insight. I look forward to hearing from my readers and aspire new steps in their own lives.