Friday, 20 February 2015
The Worst Kept Secret
Thanks to my friend Sarah Brentyn, who tagged me to write about a secret (her post is here). If you're a parent who labours under the delusion that you have to be perfect to give your kids what they need, Sarah is the woman you want to follow. She writes with humble, genuine emotion and humour about the joy and despair that accompany parenthood in equal measure.
But on to my secret, right? My secret isn't really so secret anymore. But, you should know (dramatic pause)...I'm not who I used to be. I've changed. A lot. If you met me in the last year, it might not be so obvious. Perhaps, at most, you'll have noticed a slight upswing in my unpredictability. Or, more to the point, my shift from being rule based to rule breaking. I swear more now. And drink more scotch. And stay up too late.
Don't get me wrong. There are glimmers of who I used to be, here and there. I still love to run. And my husband (who has changed, too) is still my best friend. I still like chocolate and escargot and fine dining and dancing. And relationships and romance in all forms are still mysteries that I hope I never tire of exploring with words, and in music, and through experience.
But the other stuff? The things I used to think defined me? They're almost all gone. I once embraced my Type A traits with the ferocity of a straight jacket. I WILL ACCOMPLISH could have been a tattoo I wore proudly on my arm. I WILL PERSEVERE would be the t-shirt I would don every morning to show you that I would not be beaten. I would overcome. I would not give up.
Except, that's not me anymore. I've given up a few times when it no longer served my purpose to persevere. I've moved on from things that might have been satisfying, but didn't fit the changing shape of my life. I've let go of the idea that WHO I AM is any one thing I do. In fact, I think who I am shifts on the regular. Currently, I'm a writer who isn't writing very much and a reader who isn't reading regularly. But where that would have caused panic in previous years (why can't I read? I HAVE to write), I now greet the rise and fall of my interests like waves on the shore.
And that has left space for new parts of me to emerge. A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to learn to play guitar and that feels great. A few months ago I became interested in marketing and I've run with that, too. And more recently, I've learned that just because I said I would do something, doesn't mean I have to do it. In fact, changing my mind, being flexible, being gentle with my limitations, means that I can see other people, and their choices with more compassion, too.
Sometimes I miss the me that was so driven, so sure she knew what she was doing. That version of me would give advice without blinking. She knew what decisions to make. Now? Uncertainty is my constant companion. I no longer have any idea what is right or wrong for anyone but me. But I like this lighter, less serious version of myself. The me who makes mistakes, laughs more easily, and is way less afraid of taking risks. The me who puts family and friends above order and organization. The me who believes that embracing chaos is more important than taming it.
Now that you know me, it's time to get to know some other amazing people who have their own secrets to tell (or not, friends - your choice).
Sonia Verma at Momstown.ca: The new Momstown website is very lucky to have Sonia as their national editor. Not only is she a genius with words, but she's kind and funny and has real knack for finding the humour in almost any parenting mishap. She also named some really amazing cookies in my honour.
Augusta at All in One Basket: Smart, compassionate, vulnerable, wise. If you know anyone struggling with infertility (or parenting after infertility), this is the blog to send them to. Augusta has a knack for making people feel like they're not alone.
Cate Moore at The Art of Authenticity: Cate is a kind soul and a funny, meditative blogger whose tweets and posts make me smile. She writes about her experiences without "watering down or shining it up…just beautiful, messy life."
I'd also tag Sarah Brentyn and Amy Good, but Sarah tagged me and I know Amy has already been tagged. Regardless, you should check them out.