Growing Up With Taylor
My life has had many moving parts, and in the last two months they all kind of came crashing together ... And in this intersection of lessons, I realized - whoa Nelly! I am a grown up.
A little over a year ago, we moved to a new state. And reminder (because it bears repeating) - I was 9 months pregnant. (Can you hear my self pity in that statement? I layed it on thick, so I sure hope you can.) Life was hectic and hard. We GPS’d directions to the hospital and had ourselves a baby. Then we bought a house, continued to GPS directions all over town, and bunkered down for the winter. It was lonely. It was weird. I felt physically and emotionally lost.
It is hard to move away from family. Way hard. They may drive you bonkers, but they’re helpful to have around. (And for the record, my family is only -moderately- bonkers.) I felt the magnitude of Stay-At-Home-Mom loneliness through new, and much more alone, eyes. And it made me rigid. Fragile. Emotionally exhausted. I felt like I was on duty all day, everyday. I got mad, and stayed mad for much of the year. With time, things improved. I stopped needing the maps app. (Target was -duh- my first memorized destination.) We met some lovely people who turned into friends, and all the new turned into all the normal. But there for awhile, I wore angry like it was the new black. Thankfully ... seasons change.
I want to be funny or lighthearted about the lessons I’ve learned, but this growing up business is pretty serious. I shed a lot of tears. I freed a lot of F bombs. I tantrumed like it was my job. A month ago, I left Johnny in Minnesota with his Mom in her final days. I picked up my own Mom from the airport, and she and I -along with my armada of sick children- drove back home. Mom had to leave for the airport not 10 minutes after we made it home. She left in tears, and I ... I wept. I was immersed in grief, compounded with the overwhelming task of caring for sick children all whilst being sick myself. When she left, I was alone with the kids. Alone with the grief. (Unless you count buckets of barf and snot covered couch cushions.) Mom’s best friend, Donna, tried comforting her by telling her that my hardest moments would teach me how just how strong I was. The idea of me learning my strength comforted my Mom. But when she told me the lesson ... Well, it pissed me off. I didn’t want to learn a tough lesson. I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t want to feel strong. I wanted help. I wanted comfort.
But Donna was right. (And I know she loves hearing it.) After coming out on the other side of things, I know for sure that I did learn my strength. I now know that I am a BAMF. (Look it up) I am strong and capable and responsible and tough as nails. I hated realizing it, but it’s pretty damn useful to know.
A friend of mine recently threw out her back. She was telling me how she had nursed herself back to health with some muscle relaxers and rest. Stupidly, I asked her if her husband had been in town while she was ailing. She looked at me like I was crazy, and said “Why would that matter?”. She has clearly been a BAMF/grown-up for longer than I have. But it stuck with me. It’s okay to want help, or even to ask for it - but it’s grown-up magic to not need it, and still be okay.
I think one of the key ingredients to growing up, is letting go of some of your ... well, fucks. Sorry. Cares? Stressors? You have to just let them go. I’m not a master here, but I have recently let go. (Some) And it feels amazing. It’s fantastic to let stuff roll off your shoulders instead of piling it on. It is liberating to speak the truth, even if you ruffle feathers in the process. (Especially for somebody who tends to people please. Standing up on the right side, well. It feels right!) It’s freeing to rise above - despite people trying to tarnish you. (Remember my last post? The truth is the truth, y’all.) It feels - adult - to embrace who you are, as you are, flaws and all. And guys - I’m there. I’m crossing that finish line. I am here for this growing up business - and after years of transforming - I am loving the skin I am in.
I’ve learned to loosen up. To toughen up. To love harder. To cover couches in trash bags and sheets when the kiddos are yakking. To speak the truth. To forgive yourself. To take more photos with those you love. To cry. To laugh. To embrace change. To stand up for yourself. And for goodness sake - to call the people you love. Share your love freely - it does no good staying locked up inside of you.
I’m gonna loop something ridiculous in here, because it’s me. During this transformative time, T Swizzle released some new jams. And so I’ve been growing up, to the tune of Taylor Swift. (This makes me laugh.) Her album talks about the perception others have of you, versus perception of self. “They’re burning all the witches even if you aren’t one. So, light me up. Light me up. Light me up, go ahead and light me up.” I mean. She just might be a BAMF prodigy.
In conclusion ... Go ahead and light me up.