This is not the post I set out to write. Which, in some ways, says it all.
I wrote 3/4 of a different post today, about #honestmotherhood. As I was writing, I stumbled upon an anecdote I wanted to share, and it reminded me of some other stories and that reminded me of the fact that much of what I share on here is about being a parent because that is what I think you want to read. The site is called Mommy, Ever After, after all. But, the story that I started to write (and that I’ve now included below) is not about the mommy side of me at all. Instead, it’s about the me side of me. I wrote recently about how I am feeling a bit lost, lately; not enough. I also wrote some lists of five (my favorite beauty products, my favorite tv show of the moment, etc.) and I felt like those posts have allowed me to connect to you in a different way. Not in the raw, candid, my heart is on the computer screen way, but in a, “What are you doing tonight? Sitting on the couch and binge watching OITNB? After taking 30 minutes to decide on a tv show in the first place? While snacking from a bowl of pretzels mixed with dark chocolate chips mixed with popcorn? OMG, me too!” way.
And so instead of posting my #honestmotherhood moments of the week (don’t worry — they’re still coming) I am going to post the five things this week that made me feel most like me. And I promise, there is a good reason why.
1. A bestie called me one morning this week and the first thing she said was: “I just had the most Becca-ish morning,” which made me feel loved and seen and tickled and entertained and grateful all at once. And would you like to know why her morning was so “Becca-ish?” It was actually for many reasons, like having to run the same errand multiple times and connecting with random people on the street, but mostly because it culminated in her complimenting the man who was landscaping her house on his blue sunglasses, then receiving a compliment in return on her red sunglasses and then, in “Becca-ish” fashion, deciding to swap sunglasses. I got a selfie of her in said blue sunglasses, hours later, courtesy of the landscaper, and that is, indeed, oh so “Becca-ish.”
Feeling like someone gets me so well — and that by getting me it means that she was involved in some crazy, ridiculous antics before 9am — makes me really happy. And it feels like me.
2. I played guitar with my music partner at our band practice. This is a BFD. I first picked up the guitar (and I mean for the first time ever) less than 3-months-ago and, on the flip side, he is really, really talented, which makes playing for him extremely intimidating. Verging on scary, for me. Perhaps I was fueled by some liquid courage (we went to our local craft beer spot, as we do on most Tuesdays pre-practice), or perhaps I was able to woman up in a way that I haven’t in the past, but we played together
and it was so. much. fun.
He was graceful where I was clunky, but we played along together, doing a duet to one of my favorite songs. I sang, like I normally do, but this time I did so with a guitar in my hands. Not just as a prop.
I have always been able to identify as a singer. I can not yet call myself a guitar player but I do, in fact, play the guitar on a daily basis now, and there is something about it that is so satisfying and so soul-feeding. I can actually say that when I am sitting and playing “Out Tonight” from Rent, and singing along with real passion and joy, it feels right; I feel like me in a way that I didn’t know I existed before.
(He is cropped out of this photo as I do not post photos of people on here without their consent, but you can peep my music partner on the right, and that proves I really wasn’t just sitting there alone with my [his] guitar and my IPA.)
3. Yesterday was #nationalbookloversday and it gave me an incredible feeling to be able to hold a book in my hands that I made from scratch. A book with my name on the jacket, and embossed in gold writing on the actual cover.
It was an honor. I loved being a teacher for many years, and, for me, being a mom will always be my #1 job, but getting to call myself an author is a dream come true. This is what I am meant to do. It was surreal to hold my book and to run my fingers across the feather that I chose so many years ago, but it also made me feel like me; the me I have always wanted to be.
4. I honored National Breastfeeding Week in a way that was, perhaps, unexpected. I published this post to my instagram page and, spoiler alert, it is not a photo of me breastfeeding my babies in a beautiful, candid snapshot, expressing the joy I feel (truly) about having fed them for 20 months of my life (to read about that part of my journey click here for eight years of material). One for 18 months, the other for just two. If you click on my post, you will see what I mean. In short, I addressed the pressure we put on ourselves as women, my struggles with postpartum depression and how that impacted my ability to breastfeed Beau. I advocated for a new way of thinking; for compassion (both for oneself and for others). That feels like me.
5. I changed the rules of the game. I started to write about one thing and then ended up with something entirely different. I feel self-centered about this. I feel presumptuous, like perhaps you will think that I am obnoxious for assuming you want to know what is “Becca-ish” and what I am doing on Tuesday nights. But, there is also a method to my madness.
You see, it is my hope that by sharing things that made me feel like myself from just this past week you, in turn, will think of the five things that made you feel most like you. And, if you cannot conjure said things, perhaps it will inspire you to change directions; just like I did when I sat down to write this post.
It is a reminder that though we are bonded on here by things like parenthood 0r mental health awareness or music or #teamMEA we are also each individuals, bringing something extraordinary and unique to this table.
So, what five things made you feel like you this week? Let’s do this.