This is a personal journey that I have been on...unknowingly, for almost my whole life. I have struggled with this for a long time, the "Who am I"...not just - mom, wife, support worker, etc...but me, Ruth...
Who am I?
I know that I can't be the only woman out there who reaches this point. There are all kinds of jokes about midlife crises, and while I am not saying that I am having one (don't worry, not going to do anything stupid here, or blow a lot of money on some stupid purchase) I am realizing that I have been alive for 35 years and I really don't know who I am.
It all sounds so cliche, "I need to find myself" and yet, I don't feel like I am lost, or that I need to find myself...I just need some clarification.
This post is a very personal post. Do with it what you will. I have decided that no matter what response I get, I really don't care. This is for me, I need to have an outlet and this is how I am choosing to work it out this way...
I also want to say that I, in no way, regret the place that I am at in my life. I love the life I have. I love my husband, my kids, my job. I feel comfortable where I am and I am glad that this is the route my life took.
What I want to talk about is how, after 35 years, 16 of them married with kids, do I remember who I am. When I thought about this and talked with my bff, I realized that I have really never known who I am. I have always been a follower of many people.
Whomever was in my circle at the time, is who I became. It was like being a chameleon. Is it the right way to behave? No...but it got me through my childhood and teen years. Whether I want to admit it or not, it has played a huge role in who I have become.
I reminisce a lot. I love to listen to the music I listened to as a teen, which varied from Bon Jovi (Livin' On A Prayer:-), to Pearl Jam (Alive...) to SNAP (Rhythm is a Dancer), The Eagles (Hotel California) and The Ramones (I Wanna Be Sedated) and Sex Pistols (Anarchy in the UK). And then there was my Christian music which consisted of One Bad Pig and Petra.
See, I could go on and on...I changed what I liked and who I was whenever my circle of friends changed. I was a follower. And that was ok then. Like I said, it got me through. I never really had much self-esteem and I didn't really like myself.
I made choices that I didn't like and I made mistakes. None of them were ever that bad, and I did learn my lesson from them.
Fast Forward: I am married, for 16 years. I have 6 kids, 1 in Heaven. I have a job. We have a house, 2 vehicles and a dog. We have it all. We have amazing friends who are more like family, we have family that we still like...You could say that we have it all!! And as I said, I am thankful for where I am.
I am now 35, I am not having any more kids. I am struggling with who I am and I am starting to think it is important for me to have some ME time. You know, where I do things for myself.
This time doesn't replace my family time, my time with my husband, or my job. It is extra. It is for me to be who I am and to become more confident in who I am.
When I take time for myself, I feel guilty. Like I shouldn't be having fun without my kids or my husband. Like if I have extra time I should be doing something productive...like cooking or cleaning (which I hate to do).
When my husband and I went to Cuba we had a blast. We got to know each other again and we enjoyed the kidless time...we plan to do this every year from now on, we have realized how important it is for us to do that and to connect without kids around.
We took a family vacation last year and it is the first one that was really enjoyable. We saw things and went places that the kids talk about to this day. We realized that we need to do this more often, so are planning our next family vacation this year (and even the next one after this year)...it is important for us to enjoy this time with our kids while we can. Soon they will be grown and gone and will have families of their own...time flies!!
And while all of this was very satisfying and things that we will do again and again and again...I need to do something for me. Not just going out for apps, or going to a chick flick with the ladies...(which is all fun). But somewhere where I don't have to be "MOMMY" (that is my kid screaming;-) or have to worry about the cleaning or cooking (which I have to credit my husband and kids for doing alot of...), where I don't have to remember medication or be on the lookout for seizures.
But to have time to hang out with ladies, with girlfriends. To build that bond and that relationship. To be who I am and to define myself as a person who can be free of "titles"...
Does any of this make sense? Am I just going through a mid-life crisis? Am I crazy!?
Do any other ladies feel like they have lost their identity? What are some realistic ways that you have to deal with it...to hit it head on and bring yourself to a place where you are confident in who you are that it makes you a BETTER MOM and WIFE?
What is the secret that I haven't found yet???