Monday, June 21, 2010

Loving Yourself

Ok so, one day, you are 19. You are on a college danceline. You are young, alive, driven and your body doesn’t need much help at all.

Then you wake up one day and you realize that that was 14 years ago and you most definitely are not her anymore.

Strangely, it’s a more sobering reality than you realized it would be.

Fourteen years and 4 kids later, you realize that you are no where near that. Just a few years ago, you could still keep up athletically, but not anymore. You are not young the way you were young then. In fact, as you are sitting in the WalMart dressing room, nursing your baby, you catch yourself in the mirror. It’s been a long time since you’ve really even looked at your face because frankly, you hardly have time to pee in the bathroom. Staring at your face isn’t an option. But here you are in the WalMart dressing room, looking at your face, and you realize that your smile has created permanent lines. That smile used to light up a room. Now, it’s the beginning of wrinkles, and you realize that you have most definitely aged. You no longer look like you are even in your twenties. You might even look older than your age. How did that happen to me? So, yeah, you’re not young in the sense that you were young before.

Alive. Yeah, I suppose when you sit on the floor in your children’s room and they sing along to a book with you, you feel alive. It’s a different alive though. You certainly don’t feel alive when you are in the back seat of the car singing the same 3 songs over and over and over to your 8 week old until she stops crying and goes to sleep, only to have her wake up 3 minutes later and do it all over again and again. You have your moments that feel alive, but they are few and far between and they are vastly different than they were 14 years ago.

Driven? hahahahaha I’m driven to have my 2 year old completely potty trained within the next 3 days. Does that count? Honestly, if driven were part of me right now, I don’t think I could possibly be the mother and wife that I should be. I no longer have a list of achievements that I can rattle off. I can’t tell you how high up the ladder I’m climbing. I can’t tell you what my sights are set on. I have no drive because I will neglect my family if I do.

And my body, are you kidding me? Remember, I have four kids and I’m 14 years older. My body forgot what it means to bounce back. I have back fat, for the first time in my life. That certainly has a more traumatizing effect on me than any of the others. And really, I’ve decided that I’m kind of mad that I have to work so hard to get it off this time.

On top of it all, you realize that those girls are there and though you’re in a completely different league because, let’s face it, you CANNOT compete, you are completely aware that they are there, at all times and that somehow, you are competition whether you know it or not. From here, it will only get worse. Instead of being the one that men show interest in because you are young, alive, drive and have a body, you are the one trying desperately to hold the attention of one.

…and these feelings makes you want to crawl in hole because you’ve forgotten how to love yourself.


Christine said...


It's hard being a mom, and getting older. I never thought I'd be on this side of the equation, somehow. In my imagination I was always going to be young and beautiful. It was kind of like I used to notice how women would always cut their hair when they gained weight, and how I was never going to do that, and then one day while really really pregnant with June, I walked out of the hair salon and went, "Omg. I just cut my hair short in an effort to look thinner."

Can you and I plan to meet up soon? What do things look like for you with the house and all? Are you moving soon?

Mandy said...

I would love to meet up soon. We close on the 2nd & are moving very quickly after that.Hoping to be all moved by the 6th.

Ashley said...

I love you! I know this doesn't make it any better, but once some things settle I think it'll be easier for you to tackle it all, piece by piece. You've moved, had a baby, etc - SO much of your life is in flux right now.

I see you treading water, keeping your head from going under. I want you to stay strong because soon you'll see that you're closer to the shore and then after that your feet will touch and then the water will only be at your waist and suddenly you'll be on the beach and able to move freely. It will happen!

Kim said...

I think parenting should just be called survival! :-) I certainly understand how you feel about being lost, however....the places we have walked are all different and effect us in different ways.

Your battles are always your own to war...You will bounce back....and be all the stronger in new ways for having walked this out.