I've wanted to be a lot of things in my life. I've wanted to be a teacher and a writer and a photographer. I'm fairly certain at one time I even wanted to be a psychologist. But even when I was confused and changing majors in college; and even when I didn't know who I wanted to be or what my life would look like, there was always one thing I always knew as certain. I would be a mother. I have always, always, always wanted to be a mother and I've always known it would be my ultimate destination. I've known this with every pore and morsel of my being, truly. With all the passions and dreams I've had in this life thus far, none have ever been stronger than my passion to mother.
Oddly enough, the past year or two have been the first I've ever been able to focus on myself and my career. Before that it was straight from college and into motherhood. Surrounded by babies. Always. Deep beneath the depths of four children and a home. It was glorious and awful. So the past two years have been a bit of an escape from motherhood and were much needed. They were possibly some of the best years of my life because I was able to prove to myself that I am worthy of more than just motherhood and that I am individual outside of my children, not just a continuation of their beings. I can not only be successful and accomplish my dreams, but I can do so without going completely fucking nuts. My hands are made to write and photograph the beautiful things around me, and not only for changing diapers and helping with homework. My legs can walk away just as quickly as they can run towards. People can see me, and I am not invisible after all. I matter too, it seems.
So yes, I feel as though these past two years have helped me to realize who I am. But oddly enough, I've also been a bit sad. Maybe even more than a "bit." Maybe even as wild as"absurdly."
As of lately, and amidst the struggles of being completely overworked and pain achingly tired from putting in too many hours into my work, I've realized that my individual self worth is not measured by what kind of success I have in my career. Although maybe it is for some and that is wonderful. But for me, my success and individual self worth is measured mostly in my moments and all the love, the laughter, the tingles, the Eskimo kisses, and all the cheesy-weesy good shit that motherhood gives me. And most important, my success is measured by my happiness and lack of anxiety. I am most happy in my home surrounded by my people —giving them all of my time and preserving our memories. Just us. Nobody else. Unfortunately for us though, bills have to be paid and life can not be lived solely between four walls. Most would go mad anyway.
But what I've realized is that we have to find our own lives and what works for us. We have to search and build until we create a life and a career and a family that is the perfect mix for us. We really just have to find the right recipe for our lives, ya know? So friggin cliche. But so friggin true. And even at the very beginning of it all, before we really know what we want, we understand that we can taste-test and try a little bit of everything until we find the perfect recipe for us. Needless to say, I'm on way to mastering my recipe.
Let me just wrap up this rambling with a bad ass quote that sums up the moral of this story,
"create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that looks good on the outside."
and then here is a little bit of lately.....
(in iPhone images)