I don't know how many times I'd heard people say, "once you have kids, your life changes forever." That seems obvious, but one never knows until they go through it just what that may feel like. In my recent posts, I've definitely alluded to a bit of discomfort and shell-shock with new parenthood. I really wanted to be ga-ga-goo-goo all the time, but I'm not so sure that's actually my style...
Two days ago, I was driving up Roncesvalles and happened to see the New Moon van out on delivery. I started to cry. And last week I was looking for something in my closet and found a box of clothes I haven't touched since having Cedar. That made me cry too. These things hint towards something a very dear friend/mentor/wise woman said to me, "you have to acknowledge that you are grieving the loss of your old self."
Ah yes. The maiden. The busy, working-all-the-time gal. The consummate seeker. The go-anywhere, travel all-the-time entrepreneur. The maiden. Who felt incredibly free all the time.
I don't use the word "free" loosely - because we are going to look at that now. What exactly is freedom? I believe it might just be a state of mind.
I find it easy to list off the things I "can't" do anymore - like take off to Mexico by myself and drink watermelon juice on the beach. But I did that already (okay, it's awesome, and I'll do it again when I'm 50).
So here we are - no longer the maiden. No longer the flying-by-seat-of-pants girl. It's time for a new definitition of freedom. Here's one I just found: the power to determine action without restraint.
I don't want to fall into the thought trap of "I can't do anything now that I have a kid" but rather, "life has revolved 180 degrees, how can I align with the movement?"
If I try to go back and do things the way I used to, I'll only feel burnt out and disappointed. And the old things don't feed me anymore. This is a huge list of things: the way I approached my work, the way I ran my business, the things I did for fun, the socializing I did. I miss the old self, but I think the new self will be pretty amazing too. I just don't think she's quite here yet.
The new self needs some time to form, time to hibernate, time to ga-ga-goo-goo all over my house. And then - watch out. Me and Cedar are taking the world by storm.
In the meantime, this is the good grief. Painful, yes. But necessary. Death gives life. Always has.
The photo at the top is me as the maiden. In San Diego. I don't really know how to surf, and in fact - that was my first time trying (and I dislocated my shoulder), but I think I look really cool in the photo. The photo below is the most recent shot of me and the Ceed, taken by fellow Mama and burgeoning photographer, Sara Marlowe.
Mamas can surf too. Probably better. One doesn't push out a ten-pound baby and not find a new will for the edge :)