The Thing

“Somehow, we’ll find it. The balance between whom we wish to be and whom we need to be. But for now, we simply have to be satisfied with who we are.” ― Brandon Sanderson, The Hero of Ages

Last weekend I finally found the thing I was looking for, which has been evading me for awhile. As we cleaned out the garage and reorganized the toys I stumbled upon a version of myself that I’ve been searching for these past six months. Amongst the mess, there were signs of me everywhere. Pre-kiddos, full on mama mode, and today’s version of me, which is the newest, most unfamiliar, and fierce fusion of experiences. I was embedded in the stroller we’ve had since 2015. I was woven into the costumes I’ve worn as a PTO member. I was buried under the snack surplus from Costco expeditions. Finally, I was etched into the broken pencil, which has helped me write thousands of words despite exhaustion, amidst uncertainty, and while working through a lot of anxiety.

I thought turning forty would be the most monumental thing to occur this year. However, I’ve slowly come to understand the markers of motherhood partnered with the undoing of some old self-identity associations overwhelmed and overpowered this event. In two months both children will be in the same school building full day, and this, partnered with what it means to me and what I aspire to do, has led me to an almost paralyzing state of “what the hell is happening” questioning and feeling.

Most days it hits me mid motion: I am a suburban mother, carting kiddos to camps and practices while sipping overpriced lattes and coordinating calendar chaos.

But I was, I am, and I will be much more than this and any other standard parent portrayal.

It’s not really about losing oneself, but more so misplacing the comfort and confidences of previous lifestyles, navigating the demands of an ever-evolving family and focus, and maintaining a fearless approach to adventures and intentions.

Whenever big changes happen, I like to get lost in the unknown. It’s helpful, feels natural, and allows for less regret or rage.

There’s a new balance building, dare I say even better than I envisioned, which reinstated my belief that cleaning out the garage is always a good idea;)