“I don’t even know how to start. Where… Do you start?”
You see I have this friend. In the past few years I’ve come to admire her desire for self discovery.
She’s not a new friend, a friend you meet somewhere along the way and somehow manage to form a relationship. She’s not what I call a pow-wow friend, the stranger you’ve befriended after pow-wowing around the baseball field while cheering on each others littles. She’s not the I’m not a stranger anymore friend, because we’ve come to recognize each other after many drop offs and pickups, classroom parties and birthday parties. Deciding to spark up a conversation one day during a field trip, while watching the kids play out of the corner of our eye. She isn’t even the work friend, the only reason work is bearable at times friend. She’s an old friend. A friend you don’t need an introduction to. The friend you may be to busy to acknowledge is alive, other than liking a Facebook post. You may not even be her closest friend. Yet, when life finally calms down, and you have a moment to reconnect, it’s as if the connection was never broken. For us, these connections come in the form of root touch-ups. Usually while hunching over my kitchen sink.
As most of you know, trying to schedule anything as a working mother is close to impossible. Now throw in football practice and cheerleading practice. Let alone trying to coordinate with another busy mom and it might end up with an early morning text saying, ‘can you do Monday?’ During her text, asking if we could make this happen, she asked if I had seen the blog she had posted. 15 Things a Woman Can’t Live Without, by Chiara Mazzuco. Which we both loved. She followed with, “I know you’ve been trying to find yourself.” You see, it’s things like this… how did she know? I never told her I’d been searching. That something inside me feels trapped inside an unfamiliar body. But she knew. She didn’t know I had already started blogging. Seeking ways to help find those pieces scattered about or recognize the inner me I’ve shoved so far down. However, here she was asking me to read a blog about that very thing.
What’s crazy is I thought I was all alone. I thought I was the only mama bear out there suffocating under the laundry pile of to do list. I thought I was the only one! The only one reaching deep into the pile, ready to call out the search and rescue. I was hoping if I could just reach far enough I might find a glimpse of her. But if I did find her would I recognize her? Would she be as I remembered? Would she be bruised and tattered? Would I find her only to realize I knew where she was all along? Or would I have to fall into the abyss to reclaim what is rightfully mine, me?
I had read the blog and as I told her it made me feel as if I had even more work to do. “I don’t even know where to start. Where… DO you start?” was her humble reply. And that’s when it hit me. So… where do you start? And here I thought she had it all figured out.
Well, to better understand what I am searching for I must first understand what it means. By definition Self Discovery is a noun meaning – the process of acquiring insight into ones own character.
I sat and pondered this for a minute. Insight into ones own character. Character. As in cartoon? No, it couldn’t be. Naturally I had to look up the word character. Character – noun – the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
It began to make sense to me or did it. In order to reconnect with myself, I must seek and connect to what my mental and moral qualities are. Well, if I knew how to do that I wouldn’t be in this mess. This led me down a whole new path of questions. What does mental qualities mean, how can I find them, how do I find the time to analyze my mental and moral qualities among the constant chaos I call home, how do I… “mama I’m hungry, mom did you hear me, I’m hungry?” Damn, what was I just thinking? And just like that it’s gone.
I do understand one common thread between the two. This is a journey only I can take. You see, if self discovery is acquiring your OWN CHARACTER and character is distinctive to an INDIVIDUAL, then together it leads me to believe this is a solo journey. We must arrive at the destination alone.
I guess I found my first step…
- TRAVELING SOLO – We have to come to terms knowing we can’t bring our spouses and children along for the ride. And while they may hitch a ride from time to time they will have to depart to arrive at their own destination. I have to remember, they do not travel with the same amount of baggage. Therefore, our families may be able to walk, while we need a barge to carry the load. I hope at the end of my families travels we somehow find the same tropical paradise. Traveling alone can be a scary and dangerous place. We can get so caught up in our own fears we forget what the purpose of traveling is for. Is the purpose happiness, a deeper understanding of yourself, having a moment of guilt free alone time, or simply remembering the little things that make you, you? For me it’s all of the above.
People I’m not talking Thelma and Louise self discovery road trips. We all know how that ended. Hmmm, Thelma did get to sleep with Brad Pitt though, even if he did rip them off.
Okay everyone, before I figure out what Step Two is; remember I’m on this journey with you, let’s pledge to coming to terms with traveling solo. After all, we’re not abandoning our families. We’re helping ourselves, so we can serve them better.
Connect with me and let me know how you’re coming to terms with your solo flight.
photo credit: me