People get married and have kids, that’s what they do. If you’re me anyway. Of course there are many people who do not follow that path, but for me it was a “given”. I planned to do those things from a young age, be a wife and mother.
In between those dreams I imagined being all kinds of other things or people too. Such as Madonna or a famous fashion designer. I loved to sing and I loved clothing and accessories. When I went to college I still did those things in a way, participating in a woman’s chorus and majoring in Fashion Merchandising (not design).
Then I sort of did it, I moved into the home decor industry and worked my way up a bit in one department of a fairly well known furniture company. And when I say “worked my way up”, I just mean from office worker to something that had a real name, “buyer”.
During that time I made the other dreams happen too. I married and became a mother. Once I left the work force, after G was born, I still wasn’t quite sure what I really wanted but Tim and I agreed it was financially okay for me to stay home. However, I suppose I felt less valued. I relished the adult interaction at my job and that was no longer. Plus, I enjoyed working, feeling needed in that type of environment. And although I was glad to be home with my little boys, I also felt stunted and less “useful”. I was torn between the life I had before and the one I was living.
Honestly, I have never been completely satisfied with my role since I quit working. I love my children dearly but “stay at home mom” is a role that never completely fulfilled me. They’ve all gone to some type of pre-school program (or daycare) since they were babies. I always needed that time to myself. Perhaps some would call me selfish and say I am not willing to sacrifice enough for my children, that this stage of life is short in comparison, and that I should have given my kids my ALL, all the time. Others will say they completely understand my position, my feelings, because they have been there too. Each of us is different in our mothering and what we can handle and in what we want. We just are. No one can completely understand my viewpoint, just like I cannot completely understand someone else’s, because we are not each other. We are only us.
Big life changes bring about the examination of many things. The past, the present and of course, the future. They make us think about what we really want out of this life and the time we have left here on earth. They make us take a long, hard look at ourselves and where we’ve been and where we are now and most certainly, where we want to go.
Up until now I do not believe I have really examined what I want out of my life. I think I’ve mostly been going through the motions, doing what I thought was expected of me and doing my best to be someone others thought I should be instead of my “best” me.
Well, that is changing now. Tim and I are separated and divorcing and I will no longer be “Tim’s wife”. I will be a “single mother”. I will be a “divorced Catholic”. But in the end, I am still me, “Elaine – dreamer, prayer, lover of life.”
That last label is the one that means the most to me. It is truly who I am, if it can be encompassed in so few words anyway. I dream of a better, happier life, for me and my children. I pray that we can overcome the heartache that surrounds divorce and the breaking foundation of a family. I know that I will continue to love this life because of who I am and the fact that I have so much to be thankful for. Yes, no matter what, and even through all of this, I am truly blessed.
So here I am, really examining my life for the first time. Where will it go? What will I choose? How do I want the rest of my story to go? The possibilities are pretty amazing actually. I choose to see this as a new beginning instead of an end. I will do all I can to move forward in the most positive way I know how. I will not be held back by negativity or what others think.
Am I sad? Of course! I never ever would have thought this is how my life would play out. I married to stay married. But sometimes, our plans aren’t the ones we get to follow…
And now the only plans I have are to live my life for God and myself and my kids, who all need me to be the best version of myself.
My favorite quote right now…
“Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place“. – Casting Crowns
And my theme song right now…
p.s. Please know that we are all okay through this… Tim and I are amicable and the kids are doing pretty well despite the heartache. Your love and support is always appreciated.