Well I never thought this would be my life at 35, but here we are. Honest reflection: My life is an absolute mess.
But you know what? I think I’ve found peace with that. Because that mess…
It’s Legos spewed all across the floor after my babes spent the night building a Lego village that the dogs quickly stomped over as they followed them up the stairs for bedtime stories. It’s Popsicle dripped on the floor, the couch, and yes, even the dogs, trying to cool off during the second heat wave of summer (in our non-central-AC home). It’s still not having a kitchen island countertop because on my kid-free weekends, I never seem to have the energy to move, never-mind drag my butt to Lowes. It’s needing new screens + a car transmission to remind me that it’s only my name on the mortgage commitment + car title, so those logistics I never previously dealt with, are all mine to navigate now. It’s taking a nature walk after work because this mama’s brain is so fried from data analysis + what feels like a million projects, that the only thing that brings me out of my head + back to earth is literally the EARTH. It’s seeing a bird and actually wondering about the beauty of a bird.
It’s Charley’s: “Mom, Logie pooped,” followed by Teddy’s “Ewww” and me picking up dog poop on the floor for the umpteenth day in a row because Logie now has separation anxiety, a reminder that I am not the only one adapting to these life changes. A smelly reminder that maybe we all need extra TLC these days.
These are all important reminders that as I end my day and walk into my (messy) home, my actual life, my curriculum vitae + outward appearance (i.e. “mask” of myself that society sees & cares about) will never define me, but my humanity (what I care about) will—and does, every day.
And at the end of the day, I am a 2-years separated/1-year divorced, chronically exhausted, but alive + thriving single mom at 35. A woman that doesn’t need to have it all figured out yet (and doesn’t) and a mom picking up dog + kid poop (multiple times) on the daily, yet not wishing for a second that I was anywhere else/ doing anything else. It’s going out into the world and no longer being fearful of exposing my humanity (or my truth), and sure as hell not apologizing for it anymore.
As passerby’s (continue to) comment out loud that I have my “hands full,” I smile to myself because BELIEVE ME, I KNOW, but I also know the magic in all the craziness—and I now know and trust that I have the strength, patience, and love to be exactly where I am in this moment. My kids may not have the picture-perfect life, an intact parental marital union, or clean countertops, but I also know that’s not what they will remember about these imperfect-perfect days. Nor will I.
Maybe life forcing me to be my most human again in my 30’s during the same days my kids are their most human in their most emotive formative years, is such a blessing. We are weirdly on the same page & we just love + understand each other here. So much. And hey, if it was socially acceptable for moms to full-out tantrum on the floor of Trader Joe’s when over stimulated, I probably would too.
I have “4” sweet, but imperfect; beyond messy; smiley to cranky + cranky back to smiley within seconds; cuddly; organically busy (-Logie), truly amazing kids. I say four since my dogs are my first babies and sometimes (OK, often) more needy than their two-legged siblings. They fully deserve the “kid” status.
If I tried to paint any other picture (externally) to placate society’s discomfort with imperfection, I may not have arrived at this place (internally), this peace I found following my own heart/soul/voice + painting my own “picture” of what I want life to look like. This open canvas is mine to decide what brush strokes to fill it with.
It’s knowing how fucking lucky I am despite everything + despite anything. Knowing that yes, these days may be hard, but I’ve got this.
I have learned to love + lean into this beautiful mess of the unknowns. I’m finding myself here, I’m loving myself here, I’m accepting myself here.
Because that unknown…
It permits me to reevaluate my life, my choices, my environment, and the energy that surrounds me every day. I’ve never been more aware of the energy in my presence—and how it nourishes or exhausts me (and then add/subtract accordingly).
Outside of work, the reason I moved, and raising my children—I have literally no idea what’s next. Just when I think I’m ready for something serious romantically, I stand terrified of potentially losing this newfound peace—impeding on this cocoon of safety the five of us cozily live in together. Living in a town in the middle of my state, I literally don’t know anyone—and I’m both absolutely terrified and comforted in the same breath as I say those words. I may not know anyone around me or what I want for our future—but if I know anything, it’s always the unknown that allows (i.e. forces) me to find my place. It’s being so far outside my comfort zone when I literally look to both the stars + my gut to guide me. And well, that combination of advisors hasn’t let me down yet. I’m trusting the messy unknown, the beautiful (anything but Pinterest-worthy) life.
Cheers 35, I think I’ve been waiting for you my whole life.
A mama just trying to find her way in a life that doesn’t always make sense, but at the same time, makes perfect sense.