“Everything I hope to be, I already am.”
After the better part of 24 years as a wife and 18 of which as a mother, I often find myself staring blankly into the eyes of another who asks, “what do you like to do?” I sit, perplexed, and wonder to myself, what the hell do I like to do?
As a mother and a wife, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do, and which parts of those jobs/faces were my favorite. I loved to see the smiles on my families faces when the dinner I made was not only filling but truly enjoyed. I loved to hear the giggles of my daughter while she played, either with me, or with others. I loved to play healer and caregiver to my daughter whenever she had a boo boo to mend. I loved being a provider, and knowing that I was caring for my family.
Now, my daughter is 18 and doesn’t need constant care. I am no longer married, and the void that I had once filled with drinking is vacant as is my expression when I look at someone who has asked me that question. Uhhhh, what do I like to do? Ummm, well, you see, I’m not entirely sure anymore.
In my past 10 months of sobriety, I have found myself trying to explore again. The once sheltered person that I was, both by being a wife and mother, and by being a drunk who didn’t want others to see my plight, was now dying to see what is in the world that I have been missing. I have spent the last 24 years afraid to do things, afraid to ride a bicycle again, afraid to go to festivals or visit with people outside of my home. They might see and realize what is wrong with me. They might be aware of what I am trying so hard to conceal from everyone.
Who am I? Who is the person I am, was, and will be in the future. Who do I want to be, and what things do I want to accomplish? Do I have a bucket list? I’ve never thought of it. I was so in the moment, attempting survival that I didn’t think about the things outside of just making it by. I was so concerned with what to get at the grocery store for dinner and if I had enough gas to get through the week, oh and don’t forget to mail that bill and take my daughter to her appointment, that I didn’t remember there was something outside of that moment.
Here I set, with a lack of meaning now, and with so much free time that I am writing to all of you. It was a strange place to be in, and I enjoyed it in some ways and loathed it in others. It can send a mind stir crazy in a big empty house with no one to cook for or attend to.
In turn, I’ve been attempting to rediscover who I am. This woman in the mirror… who was she? One of the things I have tried is returning to the root of things I loved prior to marriage. Music was a huge factor in my life. I loved going to movies, and I loved swimming. Okay, that was a start. I bought concert tickets, and adventured out to new places. I found I set at home a lot and it drove me crazy, so I’ve been attempting to busy myself and keep myself active.
Over the past two months I have really been pushing myself more and more to work towards finding things to do. I’ve actually started to create a list of thing I do truly enjoy. I wanted to share who the woman in the mirror so far is seeming to be and the things she enjoys.
Teaching: I’ve been through a lot of different hardships in my life and it seems that I truly love to share how to get past them with others. I hope that from my own lessons, others can have tools to make it through their hard times. I hope that with seeing the pain in my eyes, they will know that they aren’t alone, and with my success they will see that recovery and achievement is possible.
Writing: Along with teaching, this goes hand in hand. In writing I rinse my brain of a lot of the negative thoughts that erode the inner sanctum of my sanity. In turn, with any luck, I am putting the details of what I said onto this page for you to read in a way that makes sense to each of you. Maybe even inspiring you to write down whatever you need to.
Music: I miss singing, and this past few months I have immersed myself back into listening to music all the time, but also I have recently signed back up to be a part of the Sweet Adeline’s A Capella group so that I can focus some of my time deeply in music. I know how healing it can be for my soul, and I a working to experience that again and warm my soul with sound.
Movies: They help us escape and visit other times and worlds. I enjoy the story lines and I truly enjoy the temporary escape into a fantasy life. They inspire me and give me ideas as well as just simply entertain me.
Cooking and baking: I’m pretty good at, cooking especially but even baking I can do well with. I just love sharing my food with other people and it passes the time doing something nice for others. I love trying new recipes and seeing them come into amazing flavors that are delectable. I think I should have or maybe have been a chef in a past life.
Philanthropy: I enjoy doing nice things for people. I recently have gone out of my way to help a family member and two friends. I had the ability and I just did it. I feel that pushing that positive feed into the world is going to hopefully help bring some home to me. I look forward to sharing more in the future with others I love and those in need that I can love because we share humanity in common.
All in all, as I start to discover the person in the mirror staring back at me, I think she is pretty cool. A bit nerdy, but in her own way. She is beautiful, but on the inside way more than anyone can see on the surface. That is who she strives to be, that is who I strive to be, and as my new tattoo says: Everything I hope to be, I already am. I’ve had it in me all along, time to let it come out.