Once upon a time there was a girl who was loved and supported. She had purpose. She believed she could do anything and set out to do just that. No reservations, full confidence. The world looked bright and promising.
She worked hard. She studied. She followed the path that she thought she should. She took the jobs she was told would give her an “advantage” and an “edge” in her chosen career path. It wasn’t always easy. There were some roadblocks that, in retrospect, may have been signs to re-evaluate, to retreat. But she forged ahead anyway. She was determined. She was raised to pull herself up by her bootstraps, and she would not fail.
But life, as it often does, threw some major curve balls her way. She was rejected. She was told no. She was told she didn’t belong. Repeatedly. Things started to feel off balance. Her hard work felt like it was for nothing. Her confidence began to waver. Like a balloon losing air, she slowly began to fall, all the while growing smaller and smaller. Her confidence went missing.
She buried that part of herself in new motherhood. Being a mom presented a new job, a new challenge, and a new role within which she attempted to find herself. She dove in head-first, telling herself that she was meant to be a mother and only a mother. She was good at being a mom; she excelled at running a household. “Maybe this is what I’m meant to do,” she thought, “maybe this is it”. But there was a nagging thought that, for her, something was missing.
She loved being a mom. She tried to find complete fulfillment in motherhood. But we’re not all the same. What drives one person, what constitutes contentedness, is not the same from one person to the next. She eventually admitted that she needed something more. Yet, what that subversive “something” was, she didn’t know. Before becoming a mom, she had goals. She had dreams. She had a visions of a purpose for just her. But she had tried and she had failed. Now she was afraid. She was scared to try and fly again. Her wings were still clipped. Her purpose outside of motherhood was muddied, if not lost. Who was she?
A chance opportunity was presented. She took it. She started small, sticking a mere toe out of her comfort zone. She wrote about her life as a mom. It provided endless topics on which to write about, countless pieces of advice to share based on her hands-on experience. Along the way, she met some amazing women. Here and there, with a little wave, her confidence outside of motherhood started to peek back into her life. She connected with women who inspired her. She took on new challenges. She met friends she didn’t even knew she needed. She opened up about herself not only as a mom, but as a person. In turn, she learned more about herself and others. She came to discover that sharing the entire part of yourself – the good, the bad and the messiest – is the only way to truly grow.
Everyone has their own story to share. Stories of love, and of loss. Stories of success or challenge. Stories of heartache, and stories of perseverance. We can do hard things. We can handle the curve balls of life. We are capable of wading through the messes. It’s not pretty and it’s far from easy, but we can come back from failure. We can rebound after heartache. We can learn to spread our wings again. We can share the messiest parts of ourselves and not only survive, but grow.
She’s glad she knows that now. It took nearly a decade, but she finally found her purpose outside of motherhood, the elusive “something” for which she had been searching. She’s far from wise, but the benefit of experience and hard work have taught her that she was right all along: we – you and me – really can do anything.