For so long I’ve felt like “just a mom”.
The transition from individual to mother began the moment I became pregnant with my first baby. It is to be expected, of course. A natural blossoming into a role more rewarding and more ravaging than any I had known before. It was amazing and overwhelming all at once.
After the birth of my baby, I felt pieces of me begin to disappear. It was a gradual process, but also all at once in some ways. Over the years, I slipped deeper into the cocoon of motherhood, and I forgot who I was as my own person.
My interests, my passions, my hobbies had all fallen to the wayside as they often do in motherhood. With each passing day, I was less “Mia” and more “Mom”.
Then last February something in me changed. A pre-pandemic invitation to my high school reunion was a wake up call I needed to realize that I didn’t know who I was anymore. Or maybe it was that I wasn’t the me I wanted to be. I had let the essence of myself slip through my fingers as I tried to hold everything else together with a white-knuckled grip.
I made a decision to make some changes in my life. I began eating healthier and started exercising regularly. I fell in love with running. It made me feel strong, and I relished the alone time it gave me as I “ran away” for a little while.
I started reading books for pleasure again. Something I loved, but had felt for so long that I had no time to do.
I bought a record player and began collecting used vinyl records.
These may all seem like little things, but lots of little things together make something big. With each little thing, I began to remember what used to bring me joy and what sparked my passion. With each little thing, I began to remember me.
I can now see how much of the past year has been spent growing and learning to find myself again. And, it turns out, sometimes growing involves rediscovering pieces of yourself that you forgot existed.
Some people may call this a midlife crisis. To me it feels more like a “midlife remembering”.
Yes, I am a mother. But also I am a writer, a reader, a music lover, a vinyl collector, runner, a friend, a creative, a dreamer, and so much more.
I am an individual.
I am a woman.
I am me.