Who am I? (Part 1….with children these things don’t get written in one sitting)

I might ramble on and on in here for the next little while (you know, I’m bored because there are no reviews to do for the whole month on June). Seriously, this is my space and while I’ve made it public I hope that I can just write on here as I work on making changes and opening up new possibilities. I’d journal but my hands cannot keep up with my head and at least here my fingers have a chance!

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A couple weeks ago, after attending a seminar as part of the TOS Expo, I started writing a post on being real. The speaker really motivated me to “get real” but at the same time the thought was terrifying. His whole point of view was that we, as (homeschooling) women, expect too much of ourselves and always think that Jane, over there with the perfect house/children/husband, is so much better than us. That we’d be shocked to find out that Jane thinks exactly the same thing of us and it is by being real with each other that friendships can grow. That people aren’t going to run away screaming if they knew what we were really like. Nice to know! I vowed to be more authentic and let people in. Terrifying thought.

Even more terrifying, though, was realizing that after many years of being what I figured everyone else wanted me to be I had NO IDEA who I actually was. Mike and I had been talking about passions a few weeks earlier and he said he missed the person he’d started going out with that had passions/wanted to do things. Well, even 10 years ago my passions weren’t my own. One lady told me that she thought that I had a lot of compassion and that I would make a wonderful nurse, so I went to nursing school. Once I started school, I got of recognition for being really good at what I did. I could be shown a technique once and then be able to demonstrate it to the rest of the class. Everyone wanted to be in my group because I would take the time to teach them. The teachers praised me and I thought, that’s who I am, a nurse. It seemed like I had passion, I dedicated myself to learning above and beyond what was needed because I needed that acknowledgment in class to feel like I was someone. I didn’t feel a passion for the work. All the nurses looked totally beat as they started their shifts at the hospital and they didn’t get near enough time to actually interact and be with the clients. But I was good at it, so I stuck with it, despite already not having my heart in the work.

After a year and a half of nursing school, a teacher was walking me as I doodled in my notebook sitting at a table in the cafeteria and said, “Oh, a fine arts student. You are very good.” Well, I wasn’t a fine arts student but thought, well, maybe I should be. I never really wanted to be a nurse, anyways. I’d felt a strong interest in art therapy but thought that was a silly idea and people kind of laughed when I was planning to go into psychology in university. I’d gone into nursing instead because people seemed to think that was a good idea. I was sure to find my passion in art, right? Well, I quit nursing and started fine arts only to find out that I was just a mediocre arts student. There wasn’t much praise for my work. The most I got was, “well, you have your own style.” (which I took as criticism and not a compliment). When I’d tell people that I was taking fine arts to build a portfolio in order to become an art therapist, I’d get strange looks, like what on earth is “art therapy?” Despite really wanting to be an art therapist, I decided to drop out because I felt like a no one in the art world of college. That same day, a mentor, friend, and woman I really looked up to e-mailed me and told me that I would make a fine art therapist and that she was really proud of me as she’d been an art therapist before she’d decided to teach. I cursed myself for letting my dream go because I’d felt like without praise/acknowledgment I was no one.

For a while I was lost. I had no idea what to do next. No one was telling me I was good at anything so I bummed around the house, watched TV and played video games. It was my, I’ve reached my 20ies and don’t have a clue what I want crisis. Then, having been unusually tired, dizzy and moody, I realized that there was something else going on besides my little crisis. I was PREGNANT. Well, there you go. I’d be a mother by default. Not planned, by certainly not unwanted, I was thrown into motherhood. Well, being pregnant and a new mother I certainly was someone again. People take notice of the pregnant lady. They talk to the pregnant lady. Then when there’s a new baby, they talk about the new baby and poof, I was the lady who made gorgeous babies. Well, babies only stay “gorgeous” (in the eyes of others) for a short time and frankly a lot of motherhood/homemaking is without reward. There isn’t a lot of acknowledgment. We don’t get praise for cleaning poopy bums. No one says anything when the house is spotless (those few times that it is). Mothers don’t get praise. In fact, these days, they are more likely to get asked when they are going back to work. There isn’t much value put on staying home to raise a family….

(my family calls and I seem to be loosing my train of thought a little, anyways….I’ll be back!)

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