Part 3: Where it gets real. (Or it did 29 versions, ago)
I’ve always been a very social human. I crave learning about new people and getting to know someone who could be my friend. Connecting with people is something that makes me feel alive; to a certain extent it makes me feel more worthwhile.
A true extrovert, a friend collector, the ultimate social butterfly; all of these are adjectives other people have used to describe me. I don’t disagree. In my twenties I was just as comfortable going to a show at a small bar alone as I was going to the grocery store. If I wanted to do something and no one else was interested, so be it; I was still going and would have a great time. No biggie. Then I experienced something that changed me. There’s something about putting your faith in one person who ends up using your trust to lie to you and turn your life upside down. The chaos leaves you to question everything, most importantly, yourself.
*we’ll come back to that in a bit*
When I got pregnant it never even dawned on me that any of my friends would choose not to journey down this path of parenthood as my confidant. Very distinctly, it feelt like they weren’t interested or plain didn’t care about what I was going through and what was happening in my life. After it was all said and done, they simply faded away. Which should have been ok, but I was pregnant; on the cusp of reinventing life as I knew it. Only I didn’t know that was how it all goes down.
As you know from my last Mothering post it’s not all sunshine and roses with motherhood. It can be the most uplifting, rewarding -heart-bursting-with-love experience. Alternately, it can also be the most lonely, terrifying, anxiety-ridden-soul-crushing-mind-fuk. So everyone tells you to rely on your support system; your family and your friends. Reach out, talk to people, ask for help. Well what does one do when family lives across the country and most of your friends aren’t interested?
It’s a tough one. I attempted to figure it out and that’s when I realized I was different. Not only from becoming a Mom, but also from trying to piece back together who I was when my life went to shit. *see I told you we would circle back*
No longer was I that free spirit who could talk to anyone in line at the grocery store, even if they didn’t want to. I’m too aware of my own insecurities and their inconvenience, now.
After becoming a Mom I realized just how uncomfortable I was in my own skin. I thought it might be the fact that I relocated across the country and simply didn’t fit in. Then, I thought it was because I was getting older, maybe this is what happens when you aren’t in your 20’s. Your 20’s are where everyone you know is in the exact same space in life so it’s easy to create incredibly strong bonds. There was even a point where I thought there was something innately wrong with me. (Ridiculous, I know.) It’s embarrassing to admit that I let a few bad apples spark that inside of me.
Coming back from feeling like you were torn down, as an individual, isn’t always easy or noticeable. I, also, think that the last person to realize the truth is always, you.
When I became a wife, then eventually a mother I felt like I belonged in my life. Both of these milestones made me stronger and gave me a better sense of self. Yet, it had to be reconciled with the old me, the one who was still healing.
I’m pleased to say that I’m starting to return back to that witty, welcoming, sometimes sarcastic, and memorable girl you meet and think; I want to be her friend. Even better I feel more compassionate, more open-minded and smarter (despite the mom brain).
Most importantly, I’m narrowing down my field to leave only the brightest flowers. I don’t need a thousand friends and activities. A handful of pals that really get what I’m going through, want to be there for me and are there for me is enough.
Quality is essential and I didn’t get that before. Especially when I was in my 20’s and nothing could stop me. From what I can tell, this is a natural progression. Where I feel lucky is knowing and understanding quality. It sure did take a lot, but I’m relieved to have the chance to teach my kids what I’ve learned. Hopefully I can set a good example and show them it is the most rewarding.
Thanks for “listening”