Eight months have passed since I posted “Can you remember that girl?” As I read the blog post for the first time again tonight I realized; even in these eight months, I have changed.
To remember that girl takes courage. It might be easier to just admit that I have changed. It is definitely easier to change the description of the girl of careless moments and limited responsibility, into the grown-up me. And move on.
Thing is; I’m not the girl of those years passed anymore, but I’m also not only the woman, mother and wife I am now. I am both, or the new product of both these seasons.
Us mothers, we pride ourselves in doing the right thing. Most of the time the right thing in the world of mothers is: to move forward. It’s almost as if an invisible clock is giving us a rhythm, and the Lord help us if we miss a beat. Whether we are using others or ourselves as a measuring stick, somewhere we will find a benchmark to work towards.
See, women were made to nurture, and take care of the people around them. We do have this other weakness though, it’s called taking control. This weakness really features as soon as the world becomes a challenge to manage. Or when we feel overwhelmed, or crippled by self-doubt. Control is our safe place of hiding. We start taking control of our houses, our husbands, our children and anything else that hints towards wanting to be controlled.
Bottomline? We move forward. When we are in a comfortable space we move forward and when we feel overwhelmed and tired, we move forward harder. And anyone around us must “get with the programme”, because face it…what choice do we have? Our kids have to be happier, healthier and less disabled. Our marriages must be better and more fulfilling. Our finances need to keep up with all the demands.
But where does that leave us? Does it even matter how I feel in the midst of all the things I have to do, ought to have done and probably should be doing? Can I even remember how I lived before I started moving forward in the midst of this big responsibility season?
I want to beg you to STOP and remember. Go back to where you were when life had no limits. The world was your oyster and you were the princess in the fairy tale. Your seasons did change, but you did not disappear in the process. You are still there. Yes, your perspectives changed, and some lines on your face have moved positions, but no one will ever enter a room like you do. You carry your uniqueness wherever you go.
And then, after you have stopped, relinquished control a bit and put down the measuring stick, then you might just feel a bit more relieved. You’ll realize you can really start discovering the REAL YOU that’s living now. Because if you don’t do it now, when will you?
In the previous “Remember that girl” blog post, I let you in on my small acts of trying to discover myself again, bit-by-bit and day-by-day. The clothes and the hair. These actions help me, since the way I look have a big influence on my mood, and also how productive I am. I am also realizing more and more that when someone meets me a big part of their first impression will be influenced by the way I look. So, I have to concentrate on dressing to display who I am. It helps me to be real.
This brings me to the TATTOO!! Yes, at 38 years of age, I got a tattoo. It has brought me a tremendous sense of moving forward in who I am. I’ve thought and prayed and dreamed about it for two years. Then I made the tattoo appointment, and with my best friend at my right hand, we did it. She was there, and just as, if not more, excited about this moment as me. Of course I wanted to run out screaming just before I mounted myself onto the table, but I just knew, if I don’t do this now, I will forever regret my fear and also… never go back.
For some people getting a tattoo is huge, for others, no big deal. For me it was an act of truly doing something to display more to the world the inside of me. To in some way say something about me that words cannot really describe, and also say it to people who will walk past me and not ever even meet me. The picture of a butterfly sounds corny…but it’s my butterfly, and it symbolizes the freedom of being who God made me to be.
I don’t know what your thing is. Maybe it’s painting your nails blue, spending more time in the garden or taking that friend dinner. Whatever it is that will bring out the REAL YOU NOW. Just do it.
You might just feel the soft freedom breeze, of just being you, blowing through your hair.
Written by: Johanni Meiring
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