Somebody that I used to know
After I had my first baby, I lost myself. I forgot who I was. I stopped doing all of the things that made me me; all of the things that made me feel special and important. I was un-recognizable to myself. I don't know if there was some pre-programmed idea in my head that once you become a Mommy your children are the only things that matter; or if it was that I was too much of a control freak to be able to take a step back and let someone else be in charge for a while so that I could get some downtime. Perhaps it was my anxiety and depression that were preventing me from doing the things that I once loved; or maybe I was just scared that pregnancy, labour and delivery had changed my body too much to even begin to attempt those things. Realistically, it was a combination of all of these things together that allowed for this unhealthy scenario of dysfunction and unhappiness to play out for far too long. Too many good years wasted. Too many experiences lost. What a shame.
But, a few weeks ago, I went golfing. I know it doesn't sound like much, golfing is a pretty "normal" thing to do, it's not extreme, exciting or unique, but for me, it was important. It signifies a step in the right direction in my attempt to practice self-care and find myself again. You see, I said "yes". It took a lot of courage for me to say yes. I wanted to say no. I could have said no like I have so many times before. Working full-time and having four children makes it easy enough for me to come up with a valid reason why I couldn't say yes, but I said yes anyways. It had been nine years since the last time I went golfing, and I was nervous and scared. Would I even remember how to swing a golf club? What if I embarrass myself? What if I fail? I'm not the same person that I was before becoming a Mother. I'm not athletic and fit like I used to be. I'm overweight and out of shape, will I even be able to complete the entire 18 holes?
Despite the anxiety and self-doubt that I was feeling, I decided that I had to try. Otherwise, how would I know? What kind of example am I setting for my daughters if I am unwilling to even try? So I got my husband to get down my golf clubs from the very back of our storage loft, and I went golfing. The first four holes were bad...really bad. I lost balls and I duffed shots, but I shrugged it off and kept going, and eventually, it started to come back to me, and I ended up doing quite well and really enjoying myself.
The feeling of accomplishment that I had was really amazing. I left the golf course that day feeling so proud and with a renewed sense of self-confidence. I proved to myself that I could do it. I didn't let self-doubt, anxiety and fear of failure control me. I persevered and was successful. Even though I am not the fearless, say-yes-to-anything girl that I once was, I can still surprise myself and be pretty awesome sometimes. This success has sparked a desire in me to continue golfing, and it has inspired me to start trying other things that I haven't done since becoming a Mother.
My journey to rediscover myself has been a long and gradual one. Baby steps, right? I have learned to say yes to new opportunities, even though they may scare me. I have began to try new things even though I don't believe I will succeed. I have stopped worrying so much about failure, and am trying to view everything as an opportunity to grow. For too many years I was my own worst enemy and that I was imposing limitations onto myself. I have rediscovered the athlete inside of me that was tired of sitting on the sidelines. I have gotten back in touch with the girl who loves to spend time with friends and meet new people. I have surprised myself with how much fun I am still capable of having. Every single time that I make a decision to do something that I hadn't done since becoming a Mother, I build up my confidence and empower myself to become ME again; to become somebody that I used to know.