Today I live a life so different from the one I lived just over a year ago. One might expect me to say this, since I now hold a wonderful and bright little boy. But, when I say it, there's even more weight to the phrase. See, just over a year ago I was a single 30-year-old, intelligent, Bachelor and Master degree-d, recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh MSW program, professional woman. I held 2 part-time jobs that I'd gotten while completing my MSW, had other single and/or young friend-girls, went out some weekends with my friends to dance, considered dating men, had overcome (another) short bout of depression, and was fairly content. I had quite an assortment of clothes and shoes, both professional and casual. Sometimes I went shopping, just for the heck of it. Sometimes I sat at home alone entertaining myself. I worked out consistently and frequently. I read books, listened to music, visited friends/family at will, had dinner/lunch/ice cream/frozen yogurt dates with friend-girls at a moment's notice, and even kept a small bit of alcohol at home (usually wine and a bottle of vodka or tequila). I kept my home neat and organized 98% of the time, sometimes didn't cook for an entire week, and frankly didn't spend much time on current events if I didn't feel like it. I was doing alright and had concluded that it was quite likely and possible I would technically be single all the rest of my days. I mourned this realization, but I was content with it and no longer spent any time fretting over it. I had my career, I'd made my choices, and so was overall quite happy.
Some may say, so what! What's the big deal, things changed. You do things differently now, as do many others. You're no different than the next person. You're a mom now, get over it! Or some other such comment. Here's what I say to them - and, you're point is? Maybe it's not important to you, but it is to me. That's the thing about life changes, they may not be important to another person, but to the person who is/has experienced them, no matter how similar they may seem to someone else, they are still quite important to that person. Life changes aren't always about just the changes on the outside and most mothers can attest to this. Life changes, especially motherhood life changes happen on the inside a great deal. I could be wrong about others. Either way, the inside life changes are true for me. But, there is evidence on the outside too. This is what others see, unless they choose to look deeper. These outside changes impact my perceived worth today. This impact may, in fact, be the most difficult to deal with at times.
I'm not the same person or the same woman, in many ways, that I was only a year ago. My life changes have happened quite consecutively. Still, that doesn't make me any different from the next person. And still, these changes are important to me. The changes are important in the way they contribute to how I might feel some days or parts of some days. The changes are important in the way that I look at the wonderfully beautiful life I have today and am grateful to have the opportunity to live this life. These changes are important in the way that I am able to connect with parts of my person that I often hid or lessened their importance to me. All of these changes help me to be a better me. And, for me, this is the most important part of highlighting those changes. For me, these changes are precisely how I present to the world today. See, it is the changes that are evident which tell others where I fit, which box(es) to place me in, how to interact with me, and what my interests are. But, they don't tell the whole story. The evidence of my life changes aren't the whole of me. They're only a small part of me. They're also only a part of me today, in this moment, right now. For in the next moment, I may be a bit different. In the next moment I may say or do something which might alter the way in which another views me and my perceived worth in the world.
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