A few years ago I was a pretty empty shell of a person. My mouth smiled, but it rarely spread to my eyes. I always answered the question “how are you ?” with “Great!”, then felt sick inside because I knew it was a lie. I spent many nights awake staring at the ceiling wondering why I felt so empty. I spent my days cooking, cleaning, booger wiping, diaper changing, and doing everything else to take care of my family. No matter how hard I worked I felt like a failure because I never got my to do list done. I often simply gave up and did nothing other than the necessities to keep my kids alive because why bother when you are just going to fail anyway?
When I watched Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” it took a lot to fight back the tears. It was as if I was watching a fantastical version of my own life. Precocious imaginative child grows up to become a mere shadow of her real self. She has completely forgotten who she was. While doing her best to please everyone around her and live up to societal expectations she loses her muchness and now believes “I don’t slay, I couldn’t even if I wanted to.”
I wasting my life away trying so hard to make everyone around myself happy. Now don’t get me wrong, there is great value in serving others and some of the greatest joy in life is found in service, but I wasn’t doing it the right way. I was so focused on what others wanted, not what they needed, and they all wanted different things. I would never be pretty enough, good enough, talented enough. My house would never be clean enough, or children as well-behaved as they should. I couldn’t please those who love homeschool and those who are all for public school. I couldn’t walk the line between political parties hoping to never offend anyone. Pleasing everyone is just impossible and the more I tried the more of my muchness I lost.
Just like Alice I was lost in a world where everyone told me who I should be, and who I was. What I should be doing, and what I shouldn’t. I was busy trying to figure out how I should look and what I should say to please everyone around me, which is quite impossible by the way. This left me feeling empty, drained, and completely inadequate. Once again, just like Alice, I finally woke up. “This is my dream…I make the path!”
I choose who I am. I choose what I value. I have a choice, and I can slay my Jabberwocky. I can’t really tell you the story of the moment when everything turned around. It’s still too raw and personal. I can tell you it was with the help of one kind compassionate friend who told me. “Whatever you decide I will support you 100%”. I don’t think I had heard that since childhood. I was suddenly free. I was empowered to make a choice and follow it through knowing that if I fell it was ok. Someone was there to pick me up.
It was time for me to stop making excuses. It was time to stop letting others choose my path for me and determine my happiness. It was time to stop fearing failure and seek for success. As I started living my life with more intention and thoughtfulness things have started to fall into place. I have been blessed to meet people and have experiences that I never imagined possible. I have learned so much about myself and who I am. I have a voice again. The precocious child who knows who she is and what she wants in life is back! I’m back. I have my muchness. I know who I am.
I celebrate the nobility in motherhood through writing, photography, and art.
I am not ashamed or embarrassed by others negative thoughts on large families. I hold my head high when other women tell me that I am damaging their feminist movement by choosing to stay home. I ignore those who tell me that I am somehow hurting my kids by homeschooling them, or worse hurting the rest of the world by not having my kids in public school. I create the art that I love, without guilt for spending time on it or fear that others won’t like it. I am open and honest about my needs and desires with my spouse. I’ve put more appropriate limits on my children and taught them to be more independent. I bought new clothes for myself, at retail instead of from the thrift store, and they have the fun colors and patterns that I love. I’m even planning to dye my hair purple (still figuring out how to do that and what colors to use).
If you are struggling to find your muchness don’t give up. You can do it. You are a wonderfully unique individual and the world needs your beauty! Just jump, because if you do you just may fly and if you don’t, well then pick up the pieces and move forward with your head high. Failure is nothing more than the quickest path to success.
It’s your dream. YOU make the path.
Are you ready to reclaim your muchness? Check out 5 Easy Steps to Reclaiming Your Muchness.
Have you lost your muchness? Have you reclaimed it? Tell me your story.