It’s no secret that life can be hard. Really, really hard. For me, the last year and a half has been one that encompassed change. Change and adaptation that is and was necessary for me to move forward. Change that ultimately, if I allow it, will help me to redefine who I am and was as a person. And if I’m being honest with myself, at the core of this change exists a great Struggle. An internal Struggle that makes things hard.
While I think this Struggle is pertinent to many things — especially arenas in life that challenge our own self-awareness — I can easily see this toil manifest itself in relationships of all kinds, and for me, in parenthood. 15 years ago, the Struggle was adapting my lifestyle to include the concerns of my roommates and friends. 10 years ago, the Struggle was redefining myself in the context of being a wife and life partner to someone, and what it meant to intertwine my life with his without losing my identity in him and his in me; it was discovering how to grow as an individual and also as a unit. Over the last 17 months, the Struggle has been finding the tricky balance of learning who I am as a mother, allowing it to change me, but not drown my sense of self.
Is this Struggle a bad thing? I think not. I believe it to be an important thing. An important, refining process of self. One that if we choose to be aware of can make us better.
What’s your Struggle?
At the risk of sounding a bit cheesy, I figure that life is one long process of beginning as a caterpillar and somewhere along the way, emerging as a butterfly. But, if we don’t embrace life’s challenges and hardships, we emerge prematurely and undeveloped, missing the necessary lessons that impact our refinement. Or, we never really materialize at all; we are hallow and shallow, oblivious to our own nature.
Despite my roommates, my husband, and my daughter, at the core, I am still the same person, but perhaps a better version of myself because I’ve allowed life’s transitions and Struggles to purge that which needed purging.
- I’m a little softer than I was before. Not a cushy soft; rather, a malleable soft. I’m more flexible and understanding…
- I have a new appreciation for time. I used to be so selfish with the hours in my day. And while I have always acknowledged time as a commodity, I took that commodity for granted.
- I am definitely more sleep deprived, but perhaps that makes me a more gracious person, because I now understand the difficulty associated with remaining patient and kind and loving when all you want is another hour (or 20) of sleep.
- I have a new sense of humility and gratitude associated with learning. Few things in life can humble a person more than witnessing the learning of a child. Everything is new and fresh and to be discovered. The lens in which a child sees life is refreshing, and what’s more, ALL of humanity started off in a similar state. Amazing!
So while I could have clung to every aspect of who I was before, I think I would have missed seeing so many important, beautiful things. I would have missed many vital lessons and joys and pains required for me to emerge more whole than I was before. For that, for the Struggle, I am thankful.