From the drafts folder – written on May 11, 2020.
Last night, I watched the Netflix documentary on Michelle Obama – Becoming – based on her book that I read when it first came out. Like the book, the documentary spoke to me. There were so many little tidbits that left me nodding my head in agreement.
These last few months have been challenging. Being part of a massive reduction in force in October. The rush to finish my dissertation before my funding ended with my job. Taking on being a travel agency owner right as COVID-19 came on the scene. Friendships shattered. And what has felt like many shoves from a higher power to regroup, restructure, and reassess…
But in reality, I’ve actually really appreciated this time. This “pause” if you will. I’m still working – both as a travel agent and in my website management/editorial job. I’m still busy with Mike, the trio, and our friends — but there has been a definite pause. There are days when I don’t go further than a walk around the block. The trio’s activities, which consumed so much of our life, are mostly on hold. We cook and eat dinner together as a family every night. There is time to play and work outside. And mostly, there is time to dream, to ponder, and to think…
And I’ve been doing a lot of that… dreaming about what I want my life to look like when this passes. Thinking about how my ideal life with my family would look, now that I have been given this chance to really ponder it all, without the constant go-go-go of multiple jobs, too many activities, and constant chaos. I don’t think I’ve really had this kind of time to think about my future and my goals since my undergrad — definitely well before I had children!
And so I’m spending a lot of time pondering. Asking myself, “What do I want to become?” “What do I want my family’s days to look like when things are ‘normal’ again?” and most importantly, “What’s going to make me happy?”
One thing I know for certain is that my life moving forward will look different. In some ways, there will be Less – fewer activities, less chaos. In other ways, there will be More – more travel, more time as a family. Mostly, there will be more of a focus on what’s right for my family and me.
We saw my mom on Saturday, for Mother’s Day. I can’t remember how the topic came up, but at some point, we were discussing how my tendency is to prove people wrong, especially her. Anything she has said I can’t do, I’ve done — and then multiplied it by 100. I could give you a million examples here, but the revelation here is that during this conversation I said, “I think I’ve proved everything I need to prove.” And I have.
There is no doubt that I am too much for some people. I’ve faced that battle my entire life. I’ve spent years trying to prove my worth — mostly to people who didn’t really matter or didn’t really care. The person I’m becoming — the person I am — doesn’t have to prove my worth to anyone. I know my own worth, and I refuse to live as half of myself because other people can’t handle all of me.
Now, this person I am becoming — is finally ready to live her life for herself and her family. She’s no longer trying to prove her worth. She knows it. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can do anything I set my mind to – because my track record tells me so. I know that no matter what path I decide to pursue, I have the ability and capability to handle it. And strangely, despite it all, I’ve been happier and more at peace these last few months than I’ve been in years…
Becoming myself has taken a long time. I feel like I *should* have reached this milestone years ago — but here I am — opening the door to a new chapter — and excited about what is to come.