“I finally understood what it meant to lose yourself, and I'm not talking about surrendering to the joys of motherhood and all that jazz. I'm talking about forgetting who you are or who you ever wanted to be, realizing that who you wanted to be would be an impossibility, a joke in your personal repertoire. To lose yourself meant the very real possibility that at the next holiday party you go to, you will become invisible once people find out that you don't "do" anything. You're just a mom.”
I read this on a young mother’s blog this morning. When I got to the line about “forgetting who you are or who you ever wanted to be, realizing that you who you wanted to be would be an impossibility” I was totally struck by my own voices in my head in relation to the lost dreams of being a mother. Who I always wanted to be was a young mom with a ton of kids. I never wanted to be some great public school teacher. I never wanted to be the secret blogger about being single and in my thirties. In fact, truth be told, I always dreamed of being married by 20 or so, living in a basement apartment cooking beans for dinner while the husband finished his graduate degree. I liked to imagine that I’d help him type and proof his thesis (my mother did that for dad) and we would both feel the victory of his academic accomplishments. We’d continue to struggle as we had one kid after another while he worked his way up to a respectable sort of job and we’d celebrate when we were able to finally buy a car that wasn’t a total junker. Yep, those were my dreams. They’re gone now. If/when I do marry the basement apartment will never happen – something about owning a nice house of my own dashed that dream. Please don’t get me wrong – I totally value my life’s experiences and wouldn’t trade them – I love all that I’ve learned and the fabulous people who I’ve encountered in my life as a single woman – but it does require that I put aside childish dreams. A “joke” as the blogger said. Not a painful one, just the inside variety that make you go “hmm.”
It just goes to show that dreams really are just dreams – good for formulating goals and giving a bit of color and excitement to the present, but like the kind that happen when you’re asleep – when they’re over, it’s best to look at reality and get living.