At some point you have to start being who you want to be. If you want to be a business person then you have to go out there and start that business. If you want to be smart then you have to learn. If you want to be thin then you have to put in the effort. Whatever you want to be, you can be it if you do the work. At some point you have to do the work, you have to start being you, the you you dream of being. You can only pretend for so long, only live small for so long, only shrink for so long. That’s no way to live. That’s not abundant life, no matter how many pairs of shoes you own, or how many holidays you can afford in a year. Your ability to generate income, perhaps even wealth, and your successes as a in that area – all these are good things but they are external, outside of yourself; these things do not make you you.
For much of my teen and early adult years I struggled with my identity. I didn’t know who I was and I wasn’t quite sure of who I was becoming, and if I liked her. My relationship with my father is so broken that it doesn’t even merit that title, so when I think of who I am, ‘L’s daughter isn’t an identity that comes to mind.
My mother? My mother was my life. Losing her is still a shock to me. I still can’t believe she’s gone. It hits me not like a sharp pain, but more like what I imagine having a mountain fall on you would be like. Flat, heavy, thudding into you in deep waves of sadness and pain. She’s not here. I’m no longer her daughter. That’s no longer an identity i can claim.
I love my son so much. But let’s face it, he’s living his own life. He’s becoming himself. I can’t let my life revolve around his because I don’t want to raise a damaged son who thinks that he has a right to expect another human being to give up their life for his convenience. Nah, I’m not raising that man. Is he going to be perfect? Of course not. Perfection would be a very stupid goal. I’m human, he’s human, and we’re all a little damaged. Mothers, your sons are not your friends, they’re your children. Raise them to be men, not to be entitled brats of adult age. If I say that I am my son’s mother, what does it mean? Is that who I am? Or is it what I am?
I’ve started enjoying the colour pink lately, and yes that’s a big deal, because I used to loathe pink. I hated pink so much it was almost a physical aversion. What does this have to do with anything? Well, I have a baby daughter. And the day she was born is the day I fell in love with pink – I kid you not. I don’t know what was wrong with me before and I don’t know how it got fixed, because I am ‘suddenly’ enjoying pink things and pink thoughts, these days. Finally finding my femininity, me. I am convinced that my relationship with my daughter did that, is doing that. Mothering a son is changing me, growing me, but mothering a daughter is change and growth at the speed of light. No, that’s not it. That makes it sound like it’s better than mothering a son and that’s not what I mean to say at all. Mothering a son is increased self-awareness; mothering a daughter is increased self-love. I’m actually not every woman though (despite what you may have been made to believe) so naturally, YMMV: every woman’s experience of being a mother will be different. Not better or worse, just different.
All of this, does it mean that who and what I am is mother? Is that my identity? Is that who I am? Or is it what I am? Whatever the case, what is true is that at some point we all have to start just being. There is no way to be, without being authentic. The time will come when you stop pretending, when you start to live and walk and talk the way you want to, because not being authentic and not doing what you have determined to be good and right and true has been understood clearly and without error to be a waste of life. You are going to, one day, stop wasting your life. In other words, you’re going to find your truth and love it, and you will start to live it. What if that day is today? Start being the person you dream about being. Stop making excuses, make shit happen. The universe responds to authenticity.