“If you own the story, you get to write the ending.” ~ Brene Brown ~
I don’t know many stories that begin ‘Once Upon a Wednesday’, and yet every story worth telling begins on an ordinary day, a Wednesday perhaps, in the middle of an ordinary week, in an ordinary month of an ordinary year within a very ordinary life.
I am an ordinary character in this ordinary life, a Midwestern, brown eyed girl, raising babies in a sleepy Midwestern town in the the heart of corn country. Each day is mostly the same, each year the same as the last. The kids grow of course, as children do, and life throws the occasional curve ball, but by and large, I am living a good, solid life, and yet….
I’ve been itchy and antsy for too long, tangoing with a persistent restlessness in my bones and the urge to run a little wild from this perfect, yet complacent life. I am blessed beyond measure, but can’t shake the nagging desire to create, to build, and to achieve beyond the security and comfort of these four walls. Some days I want to scream from atop the mountains of laundry, “I AM HERE!” to a world that doesn’t see me as much more than a wife and mother of four.
Because I am so much more. I am far from ordinary. I am complicated, resilient yet needy, willful, sensitive and strong, dramatic, free thinking and ready to see my own worth beyond the rolls I play.
I am simply, me. And you are you. We are enough, valuable, perfectly imperfect just the way we are.
It took me far too many years to learn this, to change the narrative. I’m still learning to begin writing my own story instead of living the version I’d unwittingly subscribed to along the way. This doesn’t mean I want to abandon the life I’ve built.
But I will abandon limiting beliefs that keep me small, quiet and complacent.
I will learn to find my voice, to trust it, to speak truth to power and to show my children what it means to live life on purpose.
I am more than a daughter, mother, and wife. I am more than a woman in a world that drips with misogyny, sexism, and bigotry. I have a voice and the audacity to speak, something this good, ordinary girl wouldn’t have dreamed of doing a decade ago.
I have a daughter to raise in a world that prefers silent, pretty, girls to those with ideas and ambition.
I am learning this life is way messier than I thought, issues viewed black and white really are so many variegated shades of grey.
I’m learning the rules I spent my life following don’t actually exist and the paradigms I accepted are mostly utter bullshit.
I am excited and happy for the first time in a really long time. Maybe it’s because for the first time in a decade I don’t have a kid in diapers, or maybe it’s because I’ve finally given myself permission to breathe, to stop performing, acting, achieving, and creating as if some imaginary judge is evaluating and keeping score. I’m learning the joy of doing as I please for no other reason than simply, because I want to.
I’ve learned that I am enough and maybe some of what I’m learning can help others along the way.
With much trepidation but even more determination, I resolve to show up here before I feel ready and share what I’m learning in the hopes others will benefit. Life is constantly inviting us to grow beyond ourselves. Today I accept the invitation, not knowing what is next but leaping all the same.
We are given one wild and precious life. We must take back the pen and gain the courage to write our own stories, not tomorrow, or next week, or when the kids are older but now, today….once upon a Wednesday.