Welcome back self
Well, I suppose those a little dramatic. But that’s what it feels like to me. It feels like the past year I’ve lost myself. Which is normal, mind you. I know that. Babies take a lot of energy and marriages take whatever scraps of energy you can find after that. Moves and graduating college additionally take energy. Keeping houses clean and the family well-fed with homemade and healthy food takes energy. So, I think it’s fair to say that this past year I have had 0 energy for myself. 0. And it’s been tough. I felt like I had lost my identity completely to “Mom” and “Wife.” That’s it. Jacqueline had packed up her bags and left for a location I couldn’t find on Googlemaps.
But she came and visited yesterday and it was glorious.
Yesterday, I went to my first quilting class at an awesome quilting shop only a block away. I don’t even know how to use a sewing machine, but I figured it would be a neat and good skill for me to have, and it would give me something that was my own. It would get me out of the house without the baby and/or my husband. It would just be me interacting with other adults. It did not disappoint. There’s one other woman and the teacher in the class, both of whom are some of the nicest ladies I’ve ever met. And quilting is really fun! We learned about fabric and thread and needles and how to cut fabric with what looks like a pizza cutter, which may sound boring but it was really neat! I’m dedicating my first quilt to my wonderful brother who is in the Jazz band at Purdue University. When I saw these fabrics, I knew I had to make him a quilt!
And it may have just been a 2.5 hour class on sewing to most people, but to me it was finding myself again. I didn’t have to keep track of my boys. I just sat there and concentrated on quilting and myself. And it was really, really nice. I forgot that I was useful for things other than teaching abc’s and making food. I forgot what it was to learn something. I love learning!
I’ve also been rediscovering my identity through this blog. In college, I wrote a ton as a Liberal arts major and minor. I worked in the Writing Lab and discovered that that’s what I want to do with my life. Eventually, I want to to be a director of a Writing Lab, so clearly there is a passion. And now I’m using that part of my brain again to blog. I’m synthesizing my experience and writing about it, for, well to be honest, my parents to see. Oh well, still counts.
I’ve been reading too! I’m reading “The Maze Runner” as my sister, stepmom, and I have really been getting into the dystopian genre and have already read and discussed three series together. I’m also reading “Inferno” by Dan Brown that I saw my mother-in-law reading. You know what else I forgot? I love reading!
I have interests! Who knew?
Before I had a family, I didn’t get why people needed time away from their families. When I was dating Peter we spent almost every moment together that we weren’t in classes. And it worked. I felt like, “Other couples may need their own thing, but we don’t.” But I didn’t get that we did have our own thing. Our classes were our own thing. The Writing Lab was my own thing. Reading and homework was my own thing. I had a lot of things! When I stopped having any activities or interests to call my own, I finally got why families need to NOT spend 24/7 together in order to be healthy. Having an identity completely dependent on other people can be mind-numbing and frustrating.
Obviously, “Mom” and “Wife” are here to stay, but it’s nice to welcome back “Jacqueline” into the mix.